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Application to out of area school in NSW - help!

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9 replies to this topic

#1 newmumandexcited

Posted 04 May 2019 - 07:50 PM

Hi all,

I’m applying for an out of area school for my son’s first year of school. It’s in the next area and it’s extremely tricky for me/husband to do pick ups etc while working far away, with my twins and without a license. I rely on my sister and mother for this and need the support of having them at the same school.

Do I just attach a letter explaining this to the school with the application? Any other thoughts or suggestions for those who have been successful in this process?


Edited by newmumandexcited, 04 May 2019 - 07:51 PM.

#2 Octopodes

Posted 04 May 2019 - 08:23 PM

I don't think a school will take into consideration your pick up/drop off needs etc when determining if you get a spot or not. Usually you would talk about why that specific school is a good fit for your child, for example, they have a strong focus on a specific interest of the child (art, sport, g&t program). They offer certain extra curricular activities your child would benefit from or they offer extra support your child might require due to additional needs or learning difficulties. There should be a clear reason why your child should attend that school instead of their local zoned school.

Some schools do not enforce their zones and take out of area applicants on a first come, first served basis. Others are strictly enforced and out of area spots are practically impossible to get. Ask around to find out which category your school falls into. I wouldn't bother with a letter at all if the school falls into the first category, just get in early.

#3 SummerStar

Posted 04 May 2019 - 08:43 PM

Just explain the reason why you want to enrol them there. My kids never went to schools in area. Primary and high schools. Never ever had a problem getting them accepted by writing the reason I wanted them to go to the particular school.

Don't overthink it, just write why. If it isn't full, you shouldn't have a problem.

#4 DragonsGrace

Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:05 PM

Our suburb has 2 public primary’s. When we bought our house 11 years ago we were zoned for school M which at the time was the better of the 2. But our suburb (town) can only grow in one direction so the zone for school M is being pushed further and further south to accomodate the new estates so our zone changed to school A. My MIL lives in Zone M so we were going to apply for out of zone for school M due to the same reasons as you (ease of pickup for MIL with nephew attending school M). I needed to speak with the principal in order to be allowed to fill in the paperwork and he stated that this was a valid reason.
In the end we decided to go with school A for so many reasons (school M is so big now that they have to stagger lunch times and there is less access to extra curricular activities whereas school A has a third less students but a larger campus plus more extras) so we never bothered submitting the application but as per that principal (NSW) at least, it is a reason to apply.

Edited by DragonsGrace, 04 May 2019 - 09:06 PM.

#5 Lesley225

Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:05 PM

I've known people go out of area as the school is near work or their parents who will do the after school care.

They used and succeeded for these reasons.

#6 seayork2002

Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:06 PM

Each school is different so I would explain but I would add some good points about the school too so you are not just saying the only reason is transport

Genuine positives and how they are appropriate to your child/ren not fake postives

Edited by seayork2002, 04 May 2019 - 09:14 PM.

#7 Kreme

Posted 04 May 2019 - 10:18 PM

It’s really going to depend on whether the school is “full” or not. At the school my children attend, that reason would not get you a spot. They are forbidden by the education department from accepting out of area enrolments due to being over capacity. At other schools you don’t even need a reason because they have space.

If it’s a school with limited capacity, safety of children after school and during travel will be taken into account, however convenience for parents will not. So I’d be cautious with how you word the letter. A lot of working parents have difficulty with pick ups and they have to make arrangements to use OOSH or after school babysitters.

#8 José

Posted 05 May 2019 - 08:17 AM

im with the pps.
can you suss out the situation for this particular school? some schools are so full they cant even take siblings of students already enrolled if they are not in zone.
others have vacancy and wouldnt require a letter.
it might take a while for you to find out if the application was successful. they may need to wait and see how many in zone kinders they get first.

#9 Sincerely

Posted 05 May 2019 - 08:34 AM

Student safety and welfare is very high on the priority list of the education dept, so if there are genuine reasons related to these issues (eg. OOSH hours don't cover parents who have to work after hours shifts), then arrangements for relatives to look after the child would be a legitimate reason to include in an out of area application.

#10 Lady Monteagle

Posted 06 May 2019 - 10:17 AM

Speak with the principal to try to get an indication of the school's position (full? open?) and, if you're lucky, some idea of what the school wants to hear on an application.  

We've done this three times now.  First time - DS1 FYOS - we included (on advice from the school) that 1) it was much more convenient for the whole family, including extended family involved in school transport, and 2) that the school's strength in performing arts suited the child.  Second time - DS2 FYOS - same as above plus sibling was at the school already.  Those were the easy ones.  

Third time - DS1 in OC, DS2 wants to join him at the school, school says they're full - again we went with the honest approach of explaining the family convenience (i mean that was an obvious reason so no point denying it), then - because the school didn't routinely accept OC siblings - leaned heavily on the strengths of the school and the strengths of the child in question.  Only got in at the very last minute when a child left the school thus leaving a space.  So I think it has more to do with the size and full-ness of the school than the cogency of your arguments.  

Friends have told us that when they spoke to the principal of the local HS re an out of area application, they were essentially told what messaging the school needed to see on an application.  The school itself can be very helpful, if they've a mind to.

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