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Enrolment questions answered

Your enrolment questions answered

Public schools in Western Australia do not charge a tuition fee however a voluntary contribution fee is charged by most schools.

In secondary school some text books will need to be purchased. Other costs include uniforms, school equipment (such as school bag, lunch box) and stationery items. Your child will be given a list of items required.

Apart from the above, the only other expenses are additional school activities such as camps, excursions, swimming lessons or social outings. In many cases these activities are subsidised by the school to reduce the cost for you.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, talk to your child’s teacher(s) or the principal. In many cases they will be able to provide assistance or help you with a suitable payment plan.

Western Australia has a long and proud tradition of public schools providing high quality education in every community. We open our doors to all children – whatever their ability, wherever they live and whatever their background.

To accommodate all children in our schools, the School Education Regulations 2000 specify how schools must prioritise enrolments. Principals assess applications for enrolment for the following year after the enrolment closing date (the first Friday of Term 3 each year).

Most schools have boundaries which set what is called a local-intake area.

Schools are not in a position to deviate from these legislative requirements, by which all public schools must abide.

Kindergarten – pre-compulsory school

If the number of children applying to enrol at a Kindergarten with a local-intake area exceeds the number of available places, enrolments are prioritised in this order:

  1. A child who lives in the local-intake area of the school, who has a sibling enrolled at the school for that year and who lives closest1 to the school.
  2. A child who lives in the local-intake area of the school, who does not have a sibling enrolled at the school for that year and who lives closest1 to the school.
  3. A child who does not live in the local-intake area of the school, who has a sibling enrolled at the school for that year and who lives closest1 to the school.
  4. A child who does not live in the local-intake area of the school, who does not have a sibling enrolled at the school for that year and who lives closest1 to the school.

If the number of applications exceeds the number of available places at a Kindergarten or the Kindergarten’s local school is not a local-intake school, priority for enrolment is given to children who live closest1 to the school.

Pre-primary to Year 12 – compulsory years of school

Under the terms of the Regulations, each school must accommodate all children from the local-intake area who are of compulsory school age (Pre-primary to Year 12).

Once a school has confirmed the number of local-intake enrolments and the school has spare capacity and appropriate programs, applications from children outside the local-intake area can be assessed after the enrolment closing date (the first Friday of Term 3 each year).

If you have submitted an application for your children to attend a school that is not their local school, you will be informed of the outcome after the enrolment closing date (the first Friday of Term 3 each year).

The priority for enrolling children outside the local-intake area is in this order:

  1. A child who is accepted into a special program2 including Approved Specialist Programs (secondary schools).
  2. A child who has a sibling enrolled at the school for the year; this does not include a sibling who has gained enrolment through special programs2 including Approved Specialist Programs (secondary schools).
  3. A child who lives closest1 to the school (not closest to the boundary of a local-intake area).

Some schools do not have local-intake areas. In each of these schools, if the number of enrolment applications exceeds the number of places available at a school, priority is given to those children who live closest1 to the school.

Many schools have what is termed ‘a local-intake area’. This is a boundary set around a school that may have more applications for enrolment than it can accommodate.

If your school has a local-intake area and your usual place of residence is within that area, your children are automatically accepted into that school – this is your guaranteed place. You are encouraged to enrol as soon as you can so the school can plan for your child.

Some schools do not have local-intake areas. In each of these schools, if the number of enrolment applications exceeds the number of places available at a school, priority is given to those children who live closest to the school.

To find out if you live within the local-intake area of a particular school on this list either visit Schools Online, contact the school directly or contact your Education Regional Office.

To find your local school visit the Schools Online website.

No primary school guarantees places at any secondary school.

The only guaranteed place in a primary school is if you live in the local-intake area of that school; and the only guaranteed place in a secondary school is if you live in the local-intake area of that school.

As a parent, you can apply to enrol your children in any public school of your choice.

However children already enrolled at another school, including another Kindergarten or Community Kindergarten or receiving home education, cannot be accepted.

We ask that you apply to one school and await the outcome before applying to another school.


1 The distance from a student’s residence to the school is measured in a straight line on a horizontal plane. This method of measuring distance is determined by the Interpretation Act 1984 (Sections 3 and 65).

2 Specialist programs are education programs approved by the Director General. They do not include school-based programs.