Choosing a high school

In South Australia the last year of primary school is year 7. Parents who want their child to attend a specific South Australian public high school will need to register their interest during year 7.

If parents miss the year 7 to 8 transition process they should contact their local secondary school or another school directly regarding an enrolment. Read the information on school zones before registering your interest.

Registering interest to attend a specific high school

Parents can register their interest in their child attending a public high school of their choice through the year 7 to 8 transition process. This process generally runs from April to May of the year prior to your child starting high school (year 7 in South Australia).

When the process opens each year, all public primary school students will have the forms and information distributed to them by their primary school. Parents whose children are attending non-public schools can download forms from this page or collect a transition pack from their nearest public high school.

The year 7 to 8 transition process is a registration of interest managed by the education department on behalf of schools. This process will allocate students to a high school, but is not an enrolment to the school. Final enrolment is subject to the consideration and acceptance by the high school.

The central process is completed around the end of term 2. After this time the normal school enrolment process resumes and high schools will enrol students as per their regular enrolment process.

If your application is received after the process has concluded or if your circumstances have changed, please speak to the high school you wish your child to attend to enquire about enrolment.

Offer of placement in a high school

The final allocated high school will send parents a student secondary school acceptance pack in August.

Most high schools will be able to accommodate all requests for students to attend their school for year 8.

Your child will be considered for placement at each school you have applied for, in order of choice.

Popular metropolitan high schools, may offer placement for only a small number of non-local students and all other non-local applicants will be placed on their waiting lists.

Each high school manages its own waiting list, parents and students will not be notified about their position on a waiting list.

If no places are available your child may be offered at place at their local (zoned) high school.

If parents do not want their child to go to their allocated school, they can approach other secondary schools directly regarding an enrolment. If there are available spaces, the school may accept a request for enrolment.

Requesting a review of placement offers

If your child wasn’t allocated their first choice non-local school, there is a review process.

You can only seek a review if there is additional information that should have been considered in the original application. See the student secondary school acceptance pack for information about the review process.

This review process does not apply to special interest programs. When special interest schools notify you about your child’s placement, they will include instructions for their review process if one is available.

Once reviewed, you may receive additional points to your application, that may alter your child's ranked position on the schools waiting lists. The process does not ensure entry to a school of choice.

Contact your primary school or email for further information about the review process.

Finalising enrolment

The student secondary school acceptance pack will include an enrolment form for parents to complete.

You need to fill out the enrolment form and provide the school with copies of the following documents:

  • proof of the child's identity and date of birth - eg birth certificate, passport or official Centrelink documentation with the child's name and birth date
  • copies of any family law or other relevant court orders, if applicable
  • proof of residential address

Proof of residence

In South Australia placement in a school is based on a child’s residential address. The following information will help you provide suitable evidence.

  • If you own your home
    • a copy of the contract of sale for the property or a recent council rates notice, and
    • recent a gas or electricity bill for that property.
  • If you rent a home
    • a rental agreement and a bond receipt lodged with Consumer and Business Services showing the current place of residence the rental agreement should cover at least the first 12 months the child will be attending the school, and
    • a recent gas or electricity bill for that property.
  • Renting a room or rooms at a property for your child, does not constitute a primary place of residence. Families must rent an entire property in order for it to be their primary place of residence.
  • If your child is living with a relative or friend, you will need to provide supporting documentation stating that the relative/friend is the legal guardian of the child. This documentation must include a parenting order from the Family Court, which states that the relative/friend is the formal full-time carer of the child.

The principal is responsible for determining whether proof of residence has been satisfied and may use professional judgment in circumstances where families are not able to meet these requirements.

It is the responsibility of the parents to verify that the information provided is true and factual.

Upon receipt of evidence to the satisfaction of the school, the processing of the enrolment application may be finalised. Many high schools will ask parents and students to also attend a pre-enrolment interview, information sessions and transition days.

If you need help to fill out the enrolment form or for further information contact the high school directly.

Transferring between high schools

Parents can transfer their child to a South Australia public high school at any time during the year, if the new school is able to accommodate the request. Transfer enquires should be made directly with the school.

Further information regarding transferring schools can be found at changing schools.

Overseas and non-permanent residents

Students who are not permanent residents of Australia may enrol in South Australian government schools, subject to conditions which are determined by their visa sub-class.

Phone International Education Services on 8226 3402 for more information.

Related information


General enquiries

Phone - 8226 1000
Free call - 1800 088 158
Email -

Contact your primary school or the high school your child is likely to attend for information about:

  • enrolment
  • parent participation
  • school card
  • school fees
  • school policies
  • school zones
  • student behaviour or student performance.

Year 7 to 8 transition process enquiries

Email -

On this site

Other websites

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Page last updated 14 September 2017

Provided by:
Department for Education
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