New statewide timeline for Foundation (Prep) enrolments
The first year of primary school is called Foundation or Prep.
A new statewide timeline for enrolling in Foundation (Prep) for the 2024 school year has been released.
The timeline advises families when and how to enrol their child into Foundation (Prep) at a Victorian government school. The timeline seeks to make the enrolment process simpler, clearer and fairer for families.
The timeline will apply for children starting Foundation (Prep) in 2024. All government primary schools, including P-9 and P-12 schools, will follow the new timeline.
The timeline will not apply to non-government schools (Catholic or Independent schools). If you wish for your child to attend a non-government school, please contact individual non-government schools for their enrolment processes.
Steps to enrol your child in Foundation (Prep) for the 2024 school year
To start primary school in 2024, your child will need to turn 5 years old by 30 April 2024. Schooling is compulsory for children who have turned 6 years old.
If your child is starting Foundation (Prep) in 2024, you will be able to apply to enrol your child in a Victorian government primary school from the start of Term 2, 2023 (Monday 24 April 2023).
What you need to do:
- Download the ‘.'
- Use to locate your designated neighbourhood school (referred to as your local school) and other nearby government schools.
- Contact a government primary school to book a school tour or to learn more about the school and the enrolment application process. The school will provide you with the form to complete.
- Submit an enrolment application for Foundation (Prep) by Friday 28 July 2023.
- You will be notified of the outcome of your application by Friday 11 August 2023. If you receive an enrolment offer, you should accept the offer by Friday 25 August 2023.
- Take part in enrolment information and transition sessions during Term 4, 2023.
- Your child will start Foundation (Prep) from Tuesday 30 January 2024.
Enrolment applications submitted after 28 July 2023 will be processed by the school as they are received, in accordance with the Department of Education's Placement Policy.
Your child has a right to enrol at their local school. Your child’s local school is determined on the basis of their permanent residential address. Visit to locate your child’s local school. The page can also help you to confirm your child’s address for enrolment.
If you are seeking to apply to enrol your child in a school that is not their local school, you should read about and how they work and how applications are prioritised using the Department of Education’s Placement Policy found on the page.
Enrolment information pack for parents/carers
Additional supporting materials – factsheet
A factsheet providing a summary of the Foundation (Prep) enrolment process has been developed to complement the detailed Enrolment Information Pack for Parents/Carers. The factsheet includes key dates in the process, Frequently Asked Questions and references to relevant policies.
Factsheet for Foundation (Prep) enrolment process
Enrolment information pack for the early childhood sector
Early childhood education and care service providers and services are invited to share information about the statewide Foundation (Prep) enrolment timeline with families and staff.
The ‘’ has information about the enrolment process that you can provide to families and staff, with resources including a poster, factsheet, social media content and newsletter text. Please share these resources through your own communication channels.
Resources – ECE pack
Resources – other
These resources are included in the pack but may also be downloaded separately:
Once your child is enrolled
Appealing a Foundation (Prep) enrolment application outcome
If a school decides not to accept your enrolment, you can appeal the decision. This situation can happen if you request to enrol at a school outside of your , and the school does not have enough places.
Appeals are considered by the school's enrolment committee and/or principal. They will check the school has correctly applied the Placement Policy. They will consider whether the school’s Enrolment Management Plan (if it has one) has been followed.
They will also consider appeals on compassionate grounds on a case-by-case basis. Families will need to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances make an enrolment at their local school unsuitable for their child.
If your appeal to the school is unsuccessful and you are not satisfied the school has correctly applied the Placement Policy or adequately considered your circumstances, you can escalate the appeal to your local . The timeline for appeals to the regional office is detailed in the .
Appeals to the regional office are considered by a panel of senior department staff who provide advice and a recommendation to the Regional Director.
The Regional Director makes the final decision and communicates the outcome in writing to the parent or carer and the school.
Reviewed 17 July 2023