The new tool resolving confusion over school zones


The school’s current zone stretches across the bay to Portsea.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said the website would provide parents with simple, clear information and help principals plan for enrolment growth.

«A lot of old school zones were drawn up with highlighters on an old Melway decades ago and have never been properly explained,» Mr Merlino said.

«For decades parents haven’t had easy access to enrolment zones, causing unnecessary stress for thousands of families.»

Some schools will have their boundaries tweaked to resolve anomalies, while up to 60 schools will move from having a restricted zone, where students can only attend if they live within the enrolment boundary, to having a regular zone. Their enrolment boundaries will also change as a result.

The department is refusing to say which schools will be affected by the changes because the review is still being finalised.

McKinnon Secondary College's zone on the new website

McKinnon Secondary College’s zone on the new websiteCredit:Victorian Department of Education and Training

Enrolment boundaries will remain the same for an estimated 96 per cent of the Victorian state schools.

The department is not changing the way it calculates enrolment zones, despite some frustrated families being assigned schools that are not their closest school by road.

In one case reported by The Age, a Point Cook student had to travel 10 kilometres by car every morning to access his «neighbourhood» primary school, despite passing a closer zoned state school on the journey.


Every metropolitan school’s enrolment boundary,will continue to be calculated using a straight line, or how the crow flies. In a regional area, the shortest practicable route is used to determine school zones.

Schools are required to take students within their zone, and if they have capacity, those from outside their zone.

If a zone slices through a house, children at that address may attend either school.

Students who are currently enrolled at school will not be required to move schools as a result of the changes.

Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals president Sue Bell said the website would be a great resource for parents.

“It will help them make a choice about schools and also help principals explain their decisions to parents,” she said.

The website, called, will be updated every year to take into account new state schools.

Education Editor at The Age

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