Designated Neighbourhood School & Find My School Website
Designated Neighbourhood School
In Victoria, children of compulsory school age are entitled to be enrolled at their designated neighbourhood school. The designated neighbourhood school is generally the government school within closest proximity to the student’s permanent residential address, unless the Minister or their delegate (such as the Regional Director) has restricted the zone of a school. In such cases, a child’s designated neighbourhood school may not be their nearest school.
Students are able to apply for a place at a school that is not their designated neighbourhood school. All requests from students living outside the school’s zone will be considered by the Principal at the preferred school.
If there are sufficient places, under the Placement Policy it is expected that government schools will accept all students of school age seeking enrolment at the school.
Where there are insufficient places at a school for all students who seek entry, students are enrolled according to the Placement Policy’s priority order of placement, which has six criteria. Schools ensure that all applicants eligible under a criterion have been offered a place before moving to consideration of the next. All students for whom the school is the designated neighbourhood school are guaranteed a place. The priority order of placement is as follows:
- Students for whom the school is the designated neighbourhood school
- Students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
- Where the Regional Director has restricted the enrolment, students who reside nearest the school
- Students seeking enrolment on specific curriculum grounds
- All other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.
- In exceptional circumstances, compassionate grounds.
- For further information on siblings, restricted enrolment and appeals see the Placement Policy Guidelines
Please note: The Placement Policy, in particular the priority order of placement, has changed since the beginning of the 2023 school year. All enrolment decisions made from the start of Term 2, 2023 should be made in accordance with the current Placement Policy as outlined on the DET Placement Policy webpage.
This section of the department’s enrolment guidelines outlines the obligations on Victorian government schools in relation to placement of students and is referred to as the Placement Policy.
The department’s Placement Policy embeds the legal entitlement for students to enrol at their designated neighbourhood school, and to enrol at another school if there is sufficient accommodation.
All Victorian government schools must manage enrolments in accordance with this Placement Policy, except those schools where the Minister or delegate has approved specific entry criteria, being:
- select entry high schools
- specialist schools
- English Language Schools and Centres
- camp and outdoor schools
- hospital schools and teaching units
- distance schools
- flexible learning government schools and flexible learning campuses
- any other school with entry criteria as approved by the Minister or delegate.
The Placement Policy applies to the placement of students at all year levels, from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. Single-sex government schools are required to follow the Placement Policy, noting that only students of the requisite gender are eligible to apply.
Specialist schools are subject to different placement requirements than those described in the Placement Policy. For more information, refer to: Enrolment in specialist schools.
If families are seeking to better understand the Placement Policy, please refer them to: Starting
Source: Victoria Government (6 April 2023) Placement Policy
Find My School
The Victorian Government Find My School website visually represents all mainstream school zones in Victoria. You can find a designated neighbourhood school by a residential address search OR search using the name of a school.
The result will show:
- the location of the school in the zone in relation to the residential address (if provided)
- information about the school, its region and a link to the school website.
For the Department of Education and Training’s frequently asked Enrolment and Find My School questions visit FAQs and for more information visit School Zones
For more information about specialist school enrolment and transport support, see: School Zones, Enrol in school and Getting to school.
Craigieburn Secondary College School Zone Map
Appealing enrolment decisions
Parents and carers are able to appeal against a school’s decision not to provide a placement. This can occur in relation to enrolments at Foundation, placements at Year 7, or placements at other year levels. For more information visit Appealing Enrolment Decisions