Elisabeth Murdoch College

School Zone & Enrolment Information

Elisabeth Murdoch College School Zone and Enrolments

Our school zone is available on findmyschool.vic.gov.au which hosts the most up-to-date information about Victorian school zones. Students residing in this zone are guaranteed a place at our school, which is determined based on your permanent residential address**.

**The permanent residential address is defined as one where:

  • The home is owned by the parent or guardian
  • The home is under purchase by the parent or guardian
  • The home is leased from a registered real estate agent by the parent or guardian.

A child residing permanently in the neighbourhood area has the right to attend Elisabeth Murdoch College. The student must be living with the parent or guardian at the permanent address or spend “most” of the schooling week if residing at two different addresses at the property within the Zone.

When assessing enrolment applications, Elisabeth Murdoch College will request that parents/carers provide supporting documentation to assist them in verifying a child’s permanent residence. Supporting documentation that is required to enrol can be found by downloading the following document ( insert link https://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/parents/going-to-school/100-point-address-checklist.pdf)

The Department provides guidance through the Placement Policy to ensure that students have access to their designated neighbourhood school and the freedom to choose other schools, subject to facility limitations.

Priority order of placement

Eligible children and young persons have the right to be admitted to their designated neighbourhood government school, regardless of capacity.

In circumstances where the College does not have sufficient accommodation to accept all students who apply from outside their school zone, schools must manage enrolment applications in accordance with the following priority order of placement:

  1. students with a sibling at the same permanent address who are attending the school at the same time
  2. all other students in order of closeness of their home to the school.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be enrolled in a school based on compassionate grounds. This is an overarching consideration and does not form part of the priority order of placement. Further information is available below under ‘Exceptional circumstances – compassionate grounds.

Priority 1. Siblings

The sibling priority applies to placement decisions at all year levels, from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12. There is an expectation that the College will enrol all older and younger siblings, unless otherwise approved by the regional director.

A sibling is defined broadly and can include step-siblings and students residing together as part of a multiple family cohabitation or out-of-home-care arrangements, including foster care, kinship care and permanent care.

Students seeking enrolment on sibling grounds should be residing together at the same permanent address and must be attending the school at the same time.

Where siblings do not reside together on a full-time basis, families may still seek enrolment on sibling grounds. These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis If there are complex sibling arrangements such as this.

Priority 2. Order of closeness of their home to the school

In metropolitan areas, closeness to school is the distance measured in a straight line from the child’s permanent residential address to the school. In any other area of Victoria, closeness to school is the distance measured by the shortest practical route by road.

Distances from an address to the 5 nearest schools (as measured in a straight line) are available on the Find my School website. This website can be used when considering order of closeness to school, particularly for metropolitan areas the school when considering order of closeness.

Exceptional circumstances – Compassionate grounds

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be enrolled at a school on compassionate grounds. This is an overarching consideration and does not form part of the priority order of placement.

Families must be able to clearly demonstrate the exceptional circumstances which they believe make an enrolment at their designated neighbourhood school unsuitable for their child or children.

Exceptional circumstances may include family violence, wellbeing, and safety concerns, physical and/or mental health concerns. Importantly, this is not a comprehensive list of exceptional circumstances whereby a family may seek an enrolment on compassionate grounds – each application will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If applying on compassionate grounds outside of the College’s residential Zone, the College requires this information and any supporting documentation be placed in a letter to our Principal Dean King with your request to enrol.

When considering an application or appeal on compassionate grounds, the College and regional staff may request that families provide further evidence. This may include:

  • legal documentation
  • reports from allied health and/or medical professionals, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing practitioners, Victoria Police, and/or family violence services
  • court orders.

Appealing enrolment decisions

Parents and carers can appeal against the College’s decision not to provide a placement. This can occur in relation to enrolments/placements at Year 7, or placements at other year levels.

Appealing a Year 7 placement decision

Appealing a placement for year 7 should be lodged via the “Appeals Form (School Level) in your Year 9 to Year 7 Placement Information pack.  If you do not have the appeal Form the College suggest that you contact your primary school for a replacement form.

Appealing a placement at other year levels

In the first instance, parents or carers should lodge a written appeal with the school at which the student has been unsuccessful in gaining a placement.

If this appeal is unsuccessful and parents or carers are not satisfied that their appeal has been adequately considered, they are able to escalate the appeal to the relevant regional director.

For local government schools, appeals to the regional director are considered using the priority order of placement in the Placement Policy.

Regional office contact details and locations are on the department’s website, visit: Office Locations.