State School Enrollment Schemes

For state schools, the Education Amendment Act 2000 puts in place a new "system for determining enrollment of students in circumstances where a school has reached its roll capacity and needs to avoid overcrowding." Schools which operate enrolment schemes have a geographically defined "home zone". Residence in this zone, or in the school's boarding house, if it has one, gives right of entry to the School. Students who live outside the school's home zone can be admitted, if there are places available, in the following order of priority: special programmes; siblings of currently enrolled students; siblings of past students; children of board employees; all other students. If there are more applications than available places then selection must be through a ballot, which is randomly selected.

Critics have suggested that the system is fundamentally unfair as it restricts the choice for parents to choose schools and schools to choose their students. In addition, there is evidence that property values surrounding some more desirable schools become inflated, thus restricting the ability of lowers socio-economic groups to purchase a house in the zone.