Enrolling in high school

The year 7 to year 8 school transition process is managed by the Department for Education and assists over 14,500 year 7 students transition from primary to secondary school.

The transition process for 2020 commenced at the start of term 2, and registrations close Friday 24 May 2019.

If you missed this process please email education.startingsecondaryschool@sa.gov.au.

Current enrolment

Year 7 students attending a government primary school will have received a starting secondary (transition) pack from their school.

Year 7 students who are enrolled at a non-government school can get a transition pack from their local government secondary school, local education office or by emailing education.startingsecondaryschool@sa.gov.au.

The transition pack includes a Registration of Interest form and a starting secondary school brochure for families.

The brochure explains the year 7 to year 8 transition process and the different government school options.

To find your local (zoned) school you can use the school and preschool finder. Alternatively you can email education.startingsecondaryschool@sa.gov.au.

School zones

In South Australia all government metropolitan secondary schools (excluding specialised schools) and some country secondary schools are zoned.

A school zone is a designated area surrounding the school from which the school accepts its core intake of students.

The permanent residential address of the student determines their zoned school.

A small number of schools have a shared zone or shared areas, allowing parents and students within the zone to nominate a preferred zoned school.

Registering interest to attend an out-of-zone school

All government secondary schools aim to have enough year 8 places to accept students in their zoned area.

Depending on the availability of places, some schools may accept enrolment requests from students outside the zoned area – unless the school is on capacity management plan or separate enrolment criteria stipulates otherwise.

In some cases, the department provides automatic entry to students living outside the local (zoned) area through the year 7-8 transition process. For example, they may already have siblings at the school, or be the subject of a custody or guardianship order under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA), and Aboriginal children.

From 2020, children accepted to enrol through a selective entry program will no longer have their future younger siblings automatically eligible for enrolment at the same school.

Note: children applying to enrol in high school for 2020 and who have an older sibling already enrolled at that school through a special interest program will continue to be eligible to attend the same school, provided the sibling has attended in the last 12 months, and the school is not on a capacity management plan..

When enrolment applications exceed available places the department will assess and rank out of zone applications against the following criteria:

  • the distance from the student’s residential address to the school (20 points max and is automatically calculated)
  • specific non-core curriculum opportunities that are not available at your local (zoned) school (4 points max)
  • social/family links to the school (1 point max)
  • transport/location convenience (1 point max)
  • other compelling or extenuating reasons (you will need to attach supporting evidence to your ED176 form).

The allocation of points is also applied where demand from families living in a shared school zone is greater than available places. Note: students living in the shared zone with a sibling already attending the nominated local (zoned) school will be eligible for automatic entry.

Up to three out-of-zone schools can be nominated on your ED176 registration of interest form.

Returning your application

Students attending a government primary school should return their completed registration of interest form and supporting documentation to their primary school by Friday, 24 May 2019.

Students attending a non-government school should return their completed Registration of Interest form, proof of residence and supporting documentation by Friday, 24 May 2019 to:

Year 7 to 8 transition
Operations directorate
Level 3, 31 Flinders Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Note: Unless court orders state otherwise, each parent should agree on which school/s their child will nominate on the registration (ED176) form, nomination order, and which place of residence will be used as the local zoned school, if the child is living in a shared care arrangement between two households.

Proof of residence

You will need to provide proof of residence if your child is enrolled at a non-government school or you have updated your address on your Registration of Interest form.

If you own your home, proof documents must include:

  • a copy of the contract of sale for the property, or a recent council rates notice and a recent gas or electricity bill for that property.

If you rent your home, proof documents must include:

  • a rental agreement and a bond receipt lodged with Consumer and Business Services showing the current place of residence
  • a recent gas or electricity bill for that property.

The rental agreement should cover at least the first 12 months (eg 2020 school year) your child will be attending the school.

The renting of a room/s for your child at a property is not considered to be a primary residence. Families must rent an entire property for it to be considered their primary residence.

If the student is living with a relative or friend, you will need to send supporting documentation such as a parenting order from the Family Court confirming the relative or friend is the formal full-time carer of the student.

Generally, a statutory declaration on its own is not considered sufficient evidence.

The school principal is responsible for determining whether proof of residence has been satisfied.

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

Allocation process

During the transition process, year 7 students are allocated to a secondary school, however this is not enrolment into the school. Final enrolment is subject to the consideration and acceptance by the secondary school once all applications have been reviewed.

Some South Australian government secondary schools are considered to be high pressure schools. This means there are more students wanting to attend than there are places available.

If you are not offered a place at any of your choice schools, you will be added to the ranked waiting list for the school and offered a place if one becomes available during the school year.

If there isn’t a place available at your nominated secondary school you will be offered a place at your zoned school.

Once your child has been allocated a place you will receive a student secondary school allocation pack from the enrolling school in mid-August.

Requesting a review of placement offers

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your school allocation, you can request a review of the allocation process.

Information regarding the review process and timelines will be included in the allocation pack provided by the enrolling secondary school.

Alternatively, if you do not want your child to attend their allocated school, you can approach other secondary schools directly. If they have the capacity, the school may accept your request for enrolment.

Finalising enrolment

The allocation pack you receive will include an enrolment form, which needs to be completed and returned to the school along with:

  • proof of your child's identity and date of birth
  • any family law or other relevant court orders
  • proof of the student’s residential address.

Your application for year 8 will only be finalised by the secondary school once they have received your child’s completed enrolment form and satisfactory proof of identity and residence.

For help filling out the enrolment form, please contact the school.

Overseas and non-permanent residents

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

Please visit the International Education Services website, or call 8226 3402 for more information.

Related information

On this site

Getting to school
School zones
Changing schools


General enquiries

Phone - 8226 1000
Free call - 1800 088 158
Email - education.customers@sa.gov.au

Contact your primary school or the secondary school your child is likely to attend 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 - education.startingsecondaryschool@sa.gov.au

Other websites

457 visa holders - Department of Education

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Page last updated 7 May 2019

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Department for Education
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