School Catchments in Brisbane

school catchments

A school catchment zone, as defined by the Queensland Government, is “…the geographical location where a state school’s core intake of students must live.”

This means that these designated areas ensure that every student from Prep to Year 12 is able to be enrolled at their local state school. That is, the state school closest to home, measured by the shortest and most direct route by road. If you are after enrolment at a private school then you need to rely on their enrollment guidelines which you can get by attending Open Days at Brisbane Schools.

However, this does not mean that you cannot apply for a state school outside of your designated catchment area, but rather that enrolment is not guaranteed and you may find that you are placed on a waiting list.

The easiest way to find your designated local state school is to use the EdMap website. You can either search via entering your home address and see where your local school is, or search via the school to see if your home is in that catchment area.

Another option is to use the mobile web application designed to put information on school catchment zones at your fingertips. Find School Zones currently has information on primary and secondary schools in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and ACT.

school gates

School Enrolment Plan for Catchments

Often, schools will carefully manage the enrolment of students from outside the local catchment areas to ensure that the total current and forecast enrolments are not exceeding the schools built capacity. A state school may introduce a School Enrolment Management Plan (School EMP) when enrolment is at 80% of its enrolment capacity in order to ensure there are enough facilities available for in – catchment students, and restrict the enrolments from out-of-catchment students.

A school may require proof of residency to demonstrate that the student’s principal place of residence lies within the defined local catchment area. These may include rates notice, rental agreements, electricity bills or similar. It is not uncommon these days for parents to secure homes within the catchment areas for the ‘best’ government schools, and indeed paying a premium to come out on top.

Often for specialist secondary schools out of catchment students may have to audition to get access via a specialist program on offer, for example music, cultural, sporting, academic.

How to find out your School Catchment area

Catchment areas for all Queensland State Schools can be found here.

For further information regarding the School EMP procedure and a list of Queensland schools with a School EMP, go to the Department of Education and Training Policy and Procedure Register



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One response to “School Catchments in Brisbane”

  1. Very helpful guide thank you! We are about to move house and wondering how we would find out about the catchments before we purchased

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