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Queensland School Catchment Areas

School catchment areas

A school catchment area is the geographical location where a state school’s core intake of students must live. Catchment areas ensure every Queensland student from Prep to Year 12 is able to enrol at their local state school.

Your local state school (primary or secondary) is the school which is closest to your home. This is measured by the shortest, most direct route by road—to and from the main entrance of the school. Find your local school using the EdMap website  - you can either search using your home address or enter a school’s name to see if your home is within its catchment area.

Contact your school for more information. School contact details are available by phoning 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or searching the schools directory.

Out-of-catchment enrolments

You can still apply for enrolment at a state school outside of your catchment area, but enrolment is not guaranteed and you will be placed on a waiting list.

Applications are processed and assessed in the order they are received.

A state school’s ability to accept students who live outside its catchment area depends on whether the school:

  • has capacity once all in-catchment enrolments are met
  • needs to allow for students relocating into their catchment area during the year
  • can ensure an even spread of students across all year levels while maintaining class size targets
  • can ensure their out-of-catchment enrolments do not reduce their capacity to meet in-catchment enrolments.

Phone 13 QGOV or search the schools directory to contact your school for more information.

School Enrolment Management Plans

The Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE) is responsible for providing facilities to meet the educational needs of students residing within a school's catchment area. A School Enrolment Management Plan (School EMP) is introduced in a state school which is nearing its Student Enrolment Capacity. In order to ensure sufficient facilities are available for in-catchment students, Principals of these schools are required to restrict the enrolments from out-of-catchment students.

Schools are required to implement a School EMP when enrolments reach 80% of the school's Student Enrolment Capacity. A school's Student Enrolment Capacity is the number of students the school can accommodate within the existing learning spaces in the school. To enrol in a school that has a School EMP in place, students must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the school's School EMP document.

All Queensland state schools with a School EMP in place are listed in the menu on the following link:

Catchment area

A catchment area is the defined geographical area from which a state school accepts its core intake of students. Catchment areas for all Queensland state schools are available on DETE's EdMap website.

School Enrolment Management Plans (School EMPs) are used to manage and restrict out-of-catchment enrolments when schools are close to or have reached their enrolment capacity.

School EMPs ensure:

  • enough places are kept for local students (i.e. those living in the school’s catchment area)
  • a fair process is in place for assessing enrolments for students living outside a school’s catchment area.

View a list of Queensland schools that have School EMPs, including information on their:

  • catchment area
  • enrolment capacity (i.e. maximum number of students)
  • enrolment criteria and policy
  • proof of residency requirements
  • acceptance and notification processes.