Last reviewed July 2021

In Queensland, children and young people are generally entitled to 26 semesters of education (including prep) and can generally enrol in any state school. Generally, an application for enrolment must be accepted if they are entitled to enrolment (s 156 Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) (Education Act)).

According to the Education Act, there are some exceptions to entitlement to enrolment such as:

  • where a school is near capacity in its student numbers; the school may have an enrolment management plan in place. Enrolment in these schools will be limited to children living within a specific catchment area around the school (ch 8 pt 3 Education Act).
  • the applicant does not provide relevant information or documentation such as a birth certificate (s 155 Education Act)
  • the child is not eligible for free state education because they are not an Australian resident or citizen, or the child of an Australian permanent resident or citizen (s 50 Education Act)
  • the principal reasonably believes that the applicant presents an unacceptable risk to the school community (s 156(2) Education Act)
  • the child has been excluded, has their enrolment cancelled or is subject to a suspension from another state school at the time.

The principal must not enrol a child in year 1 of schooling at a state or non-state school unless satisfied the child:

  • has undertaken a preparatory year at a State school or non-State school
  • has undertaken education in another State or country that is equivalent to the preparatory year
  • was registered, or provisionally registered, for home education in the year before the proposed year of the child’s enrolment in year 1 of schooling at the school
  • is otherwise ready to be enrolled in year 1 of schooling at the school, considering the child’s attributes.

The Department of Education and Training has a directory that lists all state and non-state schools in Queensland and provides links to school websites.

Before enrolling the student, the principal must give the parents a copy of the school’s enrolment agreement which sets out the respective rights and obligations in relation to a child’s education of:

  • students at the school
  • the parents of students
  • the school staff.

Parents are asked to sign it, but a child’s enrolment cannot be refused if a parent does not do this. The enrolment agreement is not a legally binding contractual document. It simply documents expectations.