In February of each year, using Day 8 enrolment figures, ISRP officers will conduct an assessment of all state schools (including Independent Public Schools) to identify schools where capacity is currently under pressure, or is likely to be under pressure in the future, due to out-of-catchment student enrolments. The standard trigger for implementing a School EMP is a utilisation rate of 80% or higher and trending upwards.
ISRP will also identify those schools which need to review their School EMP due to declining enrolments and liaise with regions regarding possible rescindment of the School EMP. The standard trigger point for a School EMP to be rescinded is a utilisation rate of 70% or lower and trending downwards.
Rural or provincial schools which do not have neighbouring schools within a radius of approximately 50km (based on reasonable travel distance expectations) will be automatically exempt from implementing a School EMP.
For schools identified by Regional Directors as not requiring a School EMP, an Exemption Form must be completed and forwarded to ISRP for approval.
Where an approved education program is expected to increase student numbers at a school (e.g. Year 7 to High School program, EQI program), a school may reserve enrolment capacity to meet the forecast need, as approved by the Regional Director.
Students within catchment
All students, whose principal place of residence is within the school’s catchment area/s, are (subject to the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006) entitled to enrol at the school.
A school with a School EMP has an equidistant or a negotiated catchment area. Each year, the Government Statistician within Queensland Treasury and Trade, reviews and updates, if necessary, the equidistant catchment areas to take into account any local changes to road conditions. However, where a student intends to walk to and from school, via a designated public walkable route enrolment applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis. This provision does not apply to schools which have a negotiated catchment area.
Other students who are entitled to enrol as if in-catchment
The following groups of students will be entitled to enrol, even though they may reside outside the school’s catchment area:
- Children and young people who are subject to child protection orders that grant guardianship or custody to the Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (Child Safety Services).
- Siblings of current students at a school who reside outside of the catchment are entitled to enrol at the school (excluding siblings of students accepted into programs such as Programs of Excellence).
- Where a state school has both a primary and secondary campus, siblings are only entitled to enrol in the same campus as the currently enrolled student.
- Students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by the school.
- Students who live outside the catchment area and are verified with a disability can enrol at the school to attend the specific disability program if it is the closest program to their home and meets their individualised needs.
- Students who have been excluded from a school, if approved by the Regional Director.
Applications from any other person, not meeting the criteria outlined above is an out-of-catchment application. A school must not enrol out-of catchment students unless there is sufficient spare capacity after reserving places for in-catchment students, taking into account siblings of current students, students who move into the catchment during the year and future enrolment growth.
Students from outside the catchment area applying for enrolment are placed on a waiting list. These applications are assessed in order of receipt within the following order of groupings:
1. For P-12 schools:
- Primary school-aged siblings of students currently enrolled in the secondary campus.
- Secondary school-aged siblings of students currently enrolled in the primary campus. (Please note: as per the section above, siblings of current students, who reside outside the catchment, are eligible for enrolment at the same school campus.)
- Students who live within the primary catchment, but upon enrolment would be attending the secondary campus.
- Students who live within the secondary catchment, but upon enrolment would be attending the primary campus.
2. For schools with a Program of Excellence:
- Subject to available Student Enrolment Capacity, places will only be available to out-of-catchment enrolments if they satisfy the school’s criteria for placement in a Program of Excellence and the defined number of places has not been filled by in-catchment enrolments. Sufficient Student Enrolment Capacity must be reserved for future in-catchment growth.
Please note: Siblings of students who have enrolled in the school’s Program of Excellence are not automatically entitled to enrol; they will be assessed as per the “Out-of-Catchment Criteria” listed above. However, it should be noted that once a sibling of a Program of Excellence student has been accepted for enrolment, any further siblings will be entitled to enrol as per the sibling criteria listed above in the “Other students who are entitled to enrol as if in-catchment" section).
3. For secondary schools with a wider catchment area for Years 11-12:
- Students who live within the senior secondary catchment but not within the junior secondary catchment.
4. All other enrolment applications.
The Department’s responsibility is to provide facilities to meet the educational needs of the core curriculum for in-catchment students. Where a school has a School EMP in place, the Department will only provide and maintain facilities, including Prep, to meet in-catchment student demand.
Under the Department’s State Education Fees procedure, a principal of a state school with an approved School EMP, is able to charge a fee for recouping costs of enrolment processing (subject to consultation with the Parents and Citizens’ Association) where:
- the enrolment management plan permits the enrolment of a student living outside the catchment area based on cultural, sporting or academic merit, and
- the significant number of prospective students living outside the catchment area and applying to enrol results in abnormal administrative costs to the school, for example, enrolment examination supervision and marking.
The provisions of the School EMP will take effect upon gazettal.
The School’s EMP does not replace other departmental procedures; for example: Safe, Supportive and Disciplined School Environment.
For more information about the process, please refer to the School Enrolment Management Plan (School EMP) – Operational Guidelines.