Key dates for out-of-zone applications

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

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.

The following dates apply to schools with an enrolment scheme.

Each year, for the following yearBoards of TrusteesParents and caregivers
By 1 September Having coordinated with other Boards of Trustees in the area, must determine for their school:
  • 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 (called ‘pre-enrolment periods’) - either once or multiple
  • Whether there will be a ballot covering the whole school, or multiple ballots for different year levels
  • Where there will be multiple ballots, whether ballots for upper year level places will be held on the same date as ballots for lower year level places, or at a later date
  • 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, must determine:
  • How many in-zone places will be available on the programme
  • How many out-of-zone places will be available on the programme
* 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 - either in total or by year level
  • Enrolment application deadlines (which can be no later than 15 October)
  • Dates of ballots (which can be 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 ensure out-of-zone enrolment applications are submitted
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

Coordinating pre-enrolment dates across local schools

Enrolling at a new school is an exciting time for students and their families and whānau, but it can also be a very busy and challenging time for those applying to enrol at more than one school. We make it fair and try to help students and the schools they’re applying to by requiring Boards of Trustees of schools with an enrolment scheme to work with other schools in their region or city to coordinate their pre-enrolment application deadlines.

The requirement to coordinate dates only applies to Boards of schools with enrolment schemes, but sharing this information with nearby schools that don’t have an enrolment scheme helps them to also plan and organise around them.

Out-of-zone applications received outside pre-enrolment periods

The circumstances and situations of students and their parents or caregivers can change during the year and schools will receive enrolment applications at any time. Enrolment applications from in-zone students are automatically accepted, but 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.

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

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