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Enrolling in school

How to enrol your child in school.

Search for schools

Visit to find your designated neighbourhood school (referred to as your local school) and other nearby government schools. All government primary, secondary and specialist schools are on the Find my School website.

For more information, read about different types of schools and how school zones work.

Get to know your local school

Contact your local school, and any other schools you are considering, before you submit an application.

Staff can provide tours, classroom visits and information about their school. Most schools welcome enquiries and will organise a time for you and your child to visit.

Schools can also indicate if they have spare places for students who do not live within the school zone.

When to enrol

When to enrol in primary school

To start primary school your child will need to turn 5 years old by 30 April in the year that they start school.

Your child must be at school in the year that they turn 6 years of age. This is the compulsory school starting age.

The first year of primary school is called Foundation or Prep. Read more about when and how to enrol your child in the first year of primary school at enrolling in Foundation (Prep).

If you need to enrol at a different time or year level, contact the primary school.

When to enrol in secondary school

Read more about the steps in moving from primary to secondary school.

If you need to enrol at a different time, contact the secondary school.

It’s the law that your child is enrolled in school (or registered for home schooling) between the ages of 6 and 17.

Submit an application

Contact the school for an application form unless you are moving from primary to secondary school. In this instance, contact your child’s primary school for assistance with the Year 6 to Year 7 placement process. An application for Year 7 placement is also available from the moving from primary to secondary school page, in the Placement Information Pack for Parents and Carers.

If you need an interpreter to help fill out the application form, the school staff can help organise this for you.

Confirm your address for your application

As part of your application, schools may ask for additional information to confirm your address.

Your child’s address is where they permanently reside at the time of seeking enrolment. If your child lives at multiple addresses, their permanent residence is the address at which they spend most of their weekdays.

To support a school’s request, you may be asked to complete a 100-point residential address check. Documents should show the same parent/carer name and address as recorded on the application form.

If you are unsure of what you need to provide, ask your school or refer to the residential address check for guidance.

Applications may not be successful if information is not provided or found not to be genuine.

If you are unable to provide proof of permanent address because of your individual circumstances, you can seek advice from your local school or a Community Liaison Officer in the regional office.

Understand how applications are prioritised

All children have the right to attend their designated neighbourhood school (known as their local school). You can also apply to a school that is not your local school.

In some cases, a school may not have enough space to enrol students from outside their zone.

In these cases, schools must manage enrolments using the Placement Policy’s ‘priority order of placement’. This outlines how to prioritise out-of-zone applications when limited places are available.

The priority order of placement for out-of-zone enrolments is:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time.
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be enrolled on compassionate grounds. Applications on compassionate grounds are considered on a case-by-case basis. If your circumstances are challenging and your local school is not suitable, you should talk to the principal or a Community Liaison Officer in the regional office.

Enrolment appeals

If a school decides not to accept your application, you can appeal. This situation can happen if you request to enrol at a school that is not your local school and the school does not have enough places.

To learn more about the appeals process for Foundation (Prep) enrolment, visit enrolling in Foundation (Prep)

To learn about the appeals process for Year 7 placement, visit moving from primary to secondary school.

For all other year levels of primary and secondary school, you should lodge a written appeal with the school.

If your appeal is not successful, you can escalate it to a Regional Director. Find your closest regional office for contact information.

The Regional Director will consider the appeal in line with the Placement Policy.

Supporting documentation for enrolment

An enrolment form must be completed if you are enrolling your child for the first time in the Victorian government school system. Most commonly this would occur at Foundation (Prep).

This form seeks personal and health information that should only be provided to the school your child will attend.

You will be required to provide the following information and documentation:

  • evidence of identity and date of birth (for example, a birth certificate or passport)
  • Immunisation History Statement
  • your contact details
  • emergency contact details
  • health information about your child (such as allergies or illnesses they need to manage)
  • other legal orders relating to your child and their welfare.

Health questionnaire

When your child starts primary school, the school will ask you to fill in the school entrant health questionnaire.

Some of the questions are about your child's vision. You will be asked if your child has had their vision screened. The screening must be with either the Melbourne initial screening test or performed by your doctor.

If your child has a disability

Every student has the right to attend their local school. Students with disability have the same right to enrol in their local school as students without disability. All schools must make reasonable adjustments so that students with disability can learn and achieve on the same basis as other students. You also have the option to seek enrolment for your child at a government specialist school for students with disability.

Choosing a specialist school

Specialist schools teach students aged from 5 to 18. To enrol in a specialist school, students must meet the school's eligibility criteria.

These schools provide specialised support for students with:

  • intellectual disability
  • autism
  • physical disability
  • hearing impairment.

Enrolling in a specialist school

You can search for specialist schools near you at

The website includes a list of specialist schools near your home address, the type of disability they support and school contact details.

Contact your chosen specialist school to find out more about their enrolment policy and how to apply.

You can also contact one of our regional offices to talk about flexible learning arrangements. They can talk to you about other types of learning arrangements such as enrolling your child in both a local school and a specialist school (dual enrolment).

Enrolment areas for specialist schools 

Specialist schools do not have a school zone for enrolment purposes. Most specialist schools do have a designated transport area. If you live in the designated transport area, you may be able to get help with transporting your child to and from school.

Learn more about getting to and from school for students with disability. You can also search for the designated transport areas of schools near you.

Supported Inclusion Schools and Inclusive Education

Supported Inclusion Schools are local schools that offer high-quality learning for all students, extra support for students with disability, and focus on inclusive education. Supported Inclusion Schools provide students with the same access to opportunities as at any other local school; the key difference is they are designed to support a greater number of students with disability.

Learn more about inclusive education in all government schools, as well as targeted supported inclusion schools.

Further advice

If you have questions, contact your child's school or a Community Liaison Officer in the regional office.

You can also read tips for starting school and refer to the Enrolment FAQs: