Key dates for out-of-zone applications

These are key dates for advertising and running out-of-zone pre-enrolment processes

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Administrators
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau

School boards must adhere to the key dates that require them to plan, advertise, and operate their enrolment scheme. Parents, caregivers and whānau are required to respond to any offer of enrolment within the allotted time or their student will forfeit their place at the school. 

Note: The Education and Training Act 2020 is making some changes to the way enrolment schemes are developed and operated. These changes will be in effect from 1 January 2021, and the advice on this page will be updated. Until the end of 2020, the enrolment scheme provisions in the Education Act 1989 (ss11A-11Q) still apply. For more information about the changes, see development and consultation of school enrolment schemes.

Key information for boards

Boards of schools with an enrolment scheme must coordinate their pre-enrolment deadlines with other schools with enrolment schemes in their region or city. We also encourage schools with enrolment schemes to share these dates with nearby schools that don’t have a scheme, to help coordinate planning. 

Out-of-zone applications

Out-of-zone applications received outside an advertised pre-enrolment period can’t be accepted unless there are out-of-zone places available and a new ballot is held.

Key pre-enrolment dates

Each year, for the following year


Parents and caregivers

By 1 September Boards must determine:
  • how many out-of-zone places there will be -  either in total, or by year level
  • how many times during the year out-of-zone applications will be invited and processed 
  • whether ballots will cover the whole school or take place for different year levels
  • dates and times for ballots (whether one or multiple)
  • application deadlines for pre-enrolment periods (including for special programmes)
  • whether additional ballots* will be held for applications received outside a pre-determined pre-enrolment period, or placed on a waiting list
If running a special programme:
  • how many in-zone places are available
  • how many out-of-zone places are available
* Additional ballots occur in, and apply to, the same school year an application is received, rather than occurring in the year prior to an enrolment taking effect in the following year.
By 15 September Must advertise in a local newspaper:
  • the number of out-of-zone places available
  • enrolment application deadlines (no later than 15 October)
  • dates of ballots (no later than 30 October)
  • where copies of the school’s enrolment scheme are available
For schools with multiple pre-enrolment periods, one month before each enrolment application deadline Must re-advertise in a local newspaper:
  • enrolment application deadlines
  • dates of ballots
  • the likely number of out of zone places available
By enrolment application deadlines   Must submit out-of-zone enrolment applications 
Within 3 school days of a ballot being held Must:
  • advise out-of-zone students the outcome of their application (including those on waiting lists)
  • make ballot results available
Within 14 school days of being advised of a ballot outcome   Must confirm whether the offer of a place is accepted or declined

[1] Education Act 1989, Part 2 Enrolment schemes, and suspension, expulsion, and exclusion of students, ss11A-11Q Enrolment schemes

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