In February of each year, ISRP officers will conduct an assessment of all state schools to identify schools where capacity is currently under pressure, or is likely to be under pressure in the future, from out-of-catchment student enrolments. The standard trigger is a utilisation rate of 90% or higher and trending upwards.
ISRP will also identify schools whose School EMP needs to be reviewed due to enrolments dropping and liaise with Regions regarding possible rescindment of the School EMP. The standard trigger point for a rescindment is a utilisation rate of 80% or lower and trending downwards.
Certain schools with a utilisation rate of 90% or higher will be automatically exempt from implementing a School EMP. These include:
- Rural or provincial schools which do not have neighbouring schools within a radius of approximately 50km (based on reasonable travel distance expectations)
- Rural or provincial schools where the only other neighbouring school/s in the area also has/have a utilisation rate at or above 90%
- Schools whose out-of-catchment enrolments are less than 12%
- Individual schools for which the Deputy Director-General has approved an exemption, following a request from a Regional Director due to unique circumstances (these will be assessed on a case-by-case basis).
Some state schools, particularly secondary schools, may use flexible timetabling. This may affect the calculation of maximum enrolment level for that school. Where this is the case, negotiations to determine school enrolment levels should occur between the Principal and the Regional Director, based on the needs of the Regional Plan.
The requirement for state schools to implement a School EMP will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Regional Director. The Regional Director will consult with ISRP unit accordingly.
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 (Qld)) eligible for enrolment at the school. The school Principal will hold places for students who relocate to within the catchment area throughout the school year.
Other students outside the catchment area deemed to be eligible for enrolment:
- The following groups of students will be deemed as eligible for enrolment, 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 eligible for enrolment at the school (excluding siblings of students in a Program of Excellence). Where a state school has both a primary and secondary campus, siblings are only eligible 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 other than this school, as determined by the Regional Director.
A state school’s ability to accept students who live outside the local catchment should be considered according to the following “Out-of-Catchment Criteria”:
- the amount of spare enrolment capacity once the demand for in-catchment enrolments has been met
- allowing sufficient space for students relocating into the catchment during the year
- ensuring an even spread of students across all year levels while maintaining class size targets
- ensuring any out-of-catchment enrolments will not reduce the school’s capacity to meet in-catchment enrolments for the current year and in future years.
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 have priority for enrolment at the school. Secondary school-aged siblings of students currently enrolled in the primary campus have priority for enrolment at the school. (Please note: as per the section above, siblings of current students, who reside outside the catchment, are deemed eligible for enrolment at the same school campus.)
- Students who live within the P-7 catchment, but not within the 8-12 catchment, will have priority for enrolment in the secondary campus. Students who live within the 8-12 catchment, but not within the P-7 catchment will have priority for enrolment in the primary campus of the school.
2. For schools with a Program of Excellence:
- 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.
- Siblings of students who have enrolled in the school’s Program of Excellence are not automatically eligible for enrolment; they will be assessed as per the “Out-of-Catchment Criteria” listed above.
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 will have priority for enrolment in the junior secondary campus.
4. All other enrolment applications.
- Matters to consider before accepting out-of-catchment enrolments:
Where a major education program is expected to increase student numbers at a school (e.g. Year 7 to High School program, International Student Program), a school may reserve enrolment capacity to meet the forecast need, as approved by the Regional Director.
The department has a primary responsibility to provide facilities to meet the educational needs of the core curriculum. Where a school has a School EMP in place, the Department will only provide additional facilities, including Prep, to meet increased in-catchment student demand.
It is acknowledged that some of our secondary schools already offer Programs of Excellence that attract students from a wide geographical area providing enhanced educational outcomes and promoting State Education. In schools with a School EMP, this can result in schools requiring additional facilities to support those programs. The requirement for additional facilities should take into account the long-term education delivery needs within the geographic area.
In the situation, where a school already has a Program of Excellence in place and enrolments are at or over current capacity, a strategy should be implemented to reduce out-of-catchment enrolments to bring the total enrolments back to within the current agreed capacity.
Any requests for additional facilities to accommodate out-of-catchment enrolments should be managed as follows:
- Principal lodges a request through the Regional Facilities Manager to the Regional Director
- Regional Director seeks endorsement from Deputy Director-General, Education Queensland
- ISRP facilitates decision-making by appropriate level
This process enables Regional Directors, Regional Facilities Managers and Principals to work collaboratively with the Infrastructure Services Branch (ISB) in central office to ensure a well-planned, appropriate, budgeted infrastructure solution is provided, be it permanent or transportable facilities. This will ensure secondary schools are able to meet core and specialised program needs effectively over the long term.
Under the Department’s State Education Fees procedure, a principal of a state school is able to charge a fee for recouping costs of enrolment processing by a State school with an approved School Enrolment Management Plan of a prospective student who lives outside the school's catchment area, 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 School EMP includes standard provisions and follows a standard template. Schools are required to use this template for all School EMPs. Where optional items are highlighted, schools choose the option which best describes their context. Otherwise, the template may not be altered.
On approval, both new and revised School EMPs are published in the Government Gazette and on the Department’s website at http://education.qld.gov.au/schools/catchment/.
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.