School zones

Going to your local school

Most parents send their child to the public school closest to where they live.

The designated neighbourhood school is measured by a straight line from your permanent address, if you live in:

  • metropolitan Melbourne
  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Geelong.

If you live in another area, it's measured by the shortest practical route by road and considers access issues.

If your child lives at multiple addresses, their permanent address is where they spend most of their weekdays.

Your child has a right to enrol in their designated neighbourhood school. This right is set out in the Education Reform Act 2006.

A small number of schools have restricted zones to respond to local population growth.

Going to a non-local school

You have the choice to enrol your child at a school outside of your designated neighbourhood zone. The school may accept this enrolment as long as it has enough space.

Once the school is full, it cannot accept enrolments from outside its neighbourhood zone. This is outlined in the placement policy.

Our placement policy has not changed. Schools follow the policy to manage and accept enrolments.

Population growth and school zones

Victoria’s population is growing faster than anywhere else in Australia. It is estimated that 90,000 extra students will enter public schools over the next five years.

We’re preparing for this growth by building new schools and reviewing the capacity of our existing schools. We’re making sure there’s enough guaranteed places for children at their designated neighbourhood school.

When a new school is built, the zones for the neighbouring schools are adjusted to ensure all parents know which school is their closest school. 

Enrolment appeals

You can appeal if the school decides not to enrol your child in year 7. The placement committee at the school will review your appeal. Contact the school to lodge an appeal.

Other zones and school types

  • Single-sex schools have zones to ensure they can cater for local children but they are not created the same way as mainstream schools and are usually larger. This is because they are not a local school for all children. You have the choice to attend a single-sex school. If you are in the zone for a single-sex school, you will also be in the zone for a co-ed school.

  • Zones for multi-campus schools will depend on local arrangements (e.g. how close the campuses are and whether they cater for junior or secondary students or both) check to see their zones.

  • Community schools and English language schools do not draw from their local area only and so do not have a zone.

  • Selective entry schools do not have zones, but they have other enrolment rules.

  • Specialist schools do not have zones but they do have designated transport areas.


You can read the enrolment and neighbourhood zone policies given to schools: