Out of zone enrolment - order of priority

The legislation affecting enrolment schemes for state non-integrated schools has been updated, particularly in relation to the selection of applicants who live outside a school’s home zone.

The Education Act 1989 (the Act) provides the legislative framework under which a board of trustees may develop, implement and operate an enrolment scheme. The Education Amendment Act (No 3) 2010 has changed the requirements in s11F of the Act around the order of priority for applicants who live outside a school’s home zone. The new order of priority is as follows: 

  1. First priority must be given to any applicant who is accepted for enrolment in a special programme run by the school: 
  2. Second priority must be given to any applicant who is the sibling of a current student of the school: 
  3. Third priority must be given to any student who is the sibling of a former student of the school: 
  4. Fourth priority must be given to any applicant who is a child of a former student of the school: 
  5. Fifth priority must be given to any applicant who is either a child of an employee of the board of the school or a child of a member of the board of the school: 
  6. Sixth priority must be given to all other applicants.

Note: no change has been made to the first three priority categories above.

This change only affects students not living in school's home zone.

Applications from out of zone students are only accepted if a school board chooses to take a number of these students. Out of zone students must be taken in the order of priority listed above. A ballot is used if there is a need to make a selection from within a priority category.

How to implement the change

To implement the change, all state non-integrated schools need to update and amend their enrolment scheme documents now, to reflect the change in the legislation.

The school board may wish to inform its community about the change to its enrolment scheme in its school newsletter – a notice template is provided below.

If a board determines that this legislative change provides an opportunity to amend its enrolment scheme in other ways, then they should contact their local Ministry of Education office for further advice.

An enrolment scheme template, with the new order of priority, is provided below.

Templates

School newsletter - notice template

Enrolment at [insert the name of the school] is governed by an enrolment scheme. The enrolment of out of zone students is governed by the provisions of the Education Act 1989.

The Education Amendment Act (No 3) 2010 changed the priority of out of zone students selected via the ballot. The change only affects students not living in school's home zone.

Applications for out of zone enrolment will now be processed in the following order of priority: 

  • First priority must be given to students who have been accepted for enrolment in the following special programme(s) run by the school and approved by the Secretary for Education.* 
  • Second priority must be given to applicants who are siblings of current students. 
  • Third priority must be given to applicants who are siblings of former students. 
  • Fourth priority must be given to any applicant who is a child of a former student of the school. 
  • Fifth priority must be given to any applicant who is either a child of an employee of the board of the school or a child of a member of the board of the school. 
  • Sixth priority must be given to all other applicants.

If there are more applicants in the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth priority groups than there are places available, selection within the priority group will be by a ballot conducted in accordance with instructions issued by the Secretary for Education under Section 11G(1) of the Education Act 1989. Parents will be informed of the date of any ballot by notice in a daily or community newspaper circulated in the area served by the school.

The enrolment scheme, which includes a precise description of the home zone, may be viewed at the school office (or some other appropriate place within the school), where copies of the scheme are also available.

Enrolment scheme document template

Home zone

All students who live within the home zone described below* (and shown on the attached map) shall be entitled to enrol at the school. 

  • Insert description of home zone here, by precisely defining the boundaries of the zone.
    Note: The description and/or the map must enable a person to determine if a particular address is in or out of zone.

Proof of residence within the home zone will be required. (This sentence is not compulsory.)

Each year, applications for enrolment for the following year from in-zone students will be sought by a specific date which will be published in a daily or community newspaper circulated in the area served by the school. This will enable the board to assess the number of places which can be made available to students who live outside the home zone. (This paragraph is not compulsory.)

Special Programmes (NB Insert only if relevant)

The school operates the following special programme: [state name of programme]

Students who live within the school’s home zone and meet the criteria for enrolment in the special programme will be enrolled ahead of out of zone students.

The criteria for acceptance into the programme are as follows:

  • Specify the criteria on which students will be accepted, including the procedures to be used to determine which students will be enrolled if there are more applicants than places available.

Out of zone enrolments

Each year the board will determine the number of places which are likely to be available in the following year for the enrolment of students who live outside the home zone. The board will publish this information by notice in a daily or community newspaper circulated in the area served by the school.

The notice will indicate how applications are to be made and will specify a date by which all applications must be received.

Applications for enrolment will be processed in the following order of priority: 

  • First priority must be given to students who have been accepted for enrolment in the following special programme(s) run by the school and approved by the Secretary for Education.* 
  • Second priority must be given to applicants who are siblings of current students. 
  • Third priority must be given to applicants who are siblings of former students. 
  • Fourth priority must be given to any applicant who is a child of a former student of the school. 
  • Fifth priority must be given to any applicant who is either a child of an employee of the board of the school or a child of a member of the board of the school. 
  • Sixth priority must be given to all other applicants.

If there are more applicants in the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth priority groups than there are places available, selection within the priority group will be by a ballot conducted in accordance with instructions issued by the Secretary for Education under Section 11G(1) of the Education Act 1989. Parents will be informed of the date of any ballot by notice in a daily or community newspaper circulating in the area served by the school.

Applicants seeking second or third priority status may be required to give proof of a sibling relationship. [This sentence is not compulsory. It may be omitted or alternatively a more specific statement may be used in its place.] 

*Note: If the school does not run a special programme, this sentence should be replaced by the following statement:

  • "This priority category is not applicable at this school because the school does not run a special programme approved by the Secretary."

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