School Zoning in Victoria

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School zoning in Victoria is simple yet can be complicated at the same time. In summary, the school zone or the official name Designated Neighbourhood Zone for Victorian schools are generally whatever closest to the student’s home. The exception between metro and rural area is that in the metro area this is defined by distance as the crow flies. In the rural area, it is defined as whatever closest travelling distance school to student’s home. Only Melbourne metropolitan region, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong are considered as the metro area for this purpose.

Also in some specific circumstances, Victorian Department of Education and Training have designed a number of Primary and Secondary school with specifically designated neighbourhood zone. If this is the case, it will no longer follow the closest distance rule anymore. What this means is that even if you live opposite to a particular school, if student’s home does not fall into the specifically designated neighbourhood zone then he or she may not be accepted into the school in question.

What adds to the complication is that in Victoria, Public Schools have a large mix of year range. In NSW, it is generally Kindergarten to Year 6, plus Year 7 to 12 for Public Schools. There is a few exception of infant schools going from Kindergarten to Year 3, Junior High Schools from Year 7 to 10 and Senior High Schools from Year 11 to 12. However, schools like these are relatively rare, for example in Sydney there are only a handful of Senior schools going from Year 11 to 12 compare to the hundreds of regular ones from Year 7 to 12. Also, Kindergarten in NSW is equivalent of Preschool in Victoria which refers to the first year of primary education that starts before Year One.

In Victoria there are dizzying array of year range for public schools, for example, they can be the following combination which I am sure I missed some

  • Preschool to Year 4
  • Preschool to Year 5
  • Preschool to Year 6
  • Preschool to Year 7
  • Preschool to Year 8
  • Year 5 to Year 12
  • Year 7 to Year 9
  • Year 7 to Year 10
  • Year 7 to Year 12
  • Year 8 to Year 12
  • Year 9 to Year 12
  • Year 10 to Year 12
  • Year 11 to Year 12

Now you see why it is a major pain in the rear for someone to create school zone maps for Victora, it is major work just to sort out the year range and group them.

The official Victorian government blog entry can be found here. As in all cases with Victoria School Zones, for final confirmation, you should contact the school in question. Most of the schools will have some spare spaces so out of area application is very viable for most of the schools and worth a try if there are specific schools students want to attend but their own fall outside of its school zone.

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Artarmon Public School Upgrade

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How is the Easter Holiday for your guys, I have had a good one and came back refreshed. Today’s topic is something the parents from the local communities are well aware of. To refresh what is happening, Artarmon Public School has been the first or second ranked Public School at primary level in NSW for a number of years now. This fact combined with significant development in new dwelling within the school catchment area caused a massive surge in the school enrolment number. What the Department of Education doing is bringing demountable classrooms to accommodate the increase in enrollment number. Last time I visited Artarmon Public School, there are close to 20 classrooms plus various of facilities with demountable style hall and other facilities hosted in them as well. Sufficient to say it is one of the most crowded school I have visited in Sydney. You can find more pictures and information in the two blog entries I did for Artarmon Public School previously.

Following is the project overview for the proposed upgrade for Artarmon Public School.

The project involves:

  • The establishment of a temporary school, known as the Barton Road Campus;
  • The construction of a new 3 storey building incorporating 21 future focused teaching spaces and library (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • New student amenities (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • A new hall on the Abbott Road Campus (anticipated completion early 2019);
  • The integration of Abbott Lane to provide a better functional link between the McMillan and Abbott Road Campus'(anticipated completion early 2018);
  • The creation of a shared access way in Hampden Lane (anticipated completion early 2018);
  • The removal of demountable teaching spaces (anticipated completion early 2019); and
  • More continuous and functional open play space (anticipated completion early 2019).

The complete project is due for completion in early 2019.

On completion of the project, students currently residing in the Barton Road Campus will be transferred back to the McMillan Road Campus and the temporary school will be decommissioned.

There is a bit of back and forth with the proposed upgrade, the original plan was modified last year and the school hall part of it got axed. There was a pretty significant local community backlash for this change. The good news is that Department of Education has listened and original plan has been reinstated which is really great and secures the short to intermediate future for the school. However in the long term, there still possible catchment shrink with more new public school coming online in the North Shore area to future relief the enrollment pressure.

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School Funding in Australia

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With school funding in Australia, it is not just about giving more money to the schools. With the current budget constraint, efficient use and distribution of the money to schools is a much better alternative. States need to work closer with their Federal counterpart to come up with better and more efficient options on how the money is used. I know it is politically sensitive to reduce the funding to schools that do not really need them compare to the others, primarily these are the top end of private schools. Indoor pools are a nice thing to have but hardly required items, this money just better off to be spent elsewhere. You have to lay the original blame on John Howard with creating this problem and Gillard government for lack of courage to properly implement the Gonski plan.

Another phenomenon is that many schools function largely with the free help from parents particularly mothers. All the canteen of public schools in my local area is run by volunteering parents. My children’s public school P&C pays the cleaners for the school drawing its own fund. It is planning to install Air Conditioners for all classrooms with its own fund as well. Another local public school even paid for an extra teacher with its own money as well.

You have to question why your local schools rely so heavily on the contributing of money and free labour from parents.

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How Big Of A Factor Is Local School When Purchasing Properties?

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I remember reading an article years ago that school is one of the top things that people looking at when purchasing a property. Being a parent myself, I fully understand all parents concern on this. I personally wasn’t as picky as some people I know, rank 100 with rank 2 in the state does not really matter that much to me. However, that is not to say all parents are similar to me. I was also lucky that the schools in the area I was interested in all were of good enough quality for me so that sure made my life easier when house hunting. The school is very important, however, if the parents don’t spend the effort at educating their children, no matter how good the schools it will not help.

Some properties that are on different side of the street due to falling in or out of a particular school zone can end up the price difference in hundred thousands of dollars. What I think what a good school has to offer are accommodating environment with parents that spend effort working with their children and school. I always make the joke to my partner that as long as my kids don’t abuse alcohol, don’t do drugs, practice safe sex and not lead a life of crime, I am all good whatever else they do.

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Should you hold back your child one year before starting on school?

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I just read the article “Holding them back: What age should kids really start school?” on This is a very interesting one and worth a read, particularly for prospective parents with children that are about to start school.  The area where I lived the majority of my life at, most people I know normally send their kids to school as soon as they legally qualified to do so. One of the most important factor I think is to do with cost as well, one less childcare cost to bear is actually a big deal for a lot of families. I recently moved to a more affluent area and from what I can observe most of the parents hold their kids back one year.

I do agree with the article’s conclusion that whether to do so is a personal one and differs from child to child as well. My son is the second youngest in the whole class and there are children that are closet o 18 months older. He is a socially active boy, so fitting in was never an issue for me. We did have to spend significant more effort in learning words and working on reading compare to my daughter in her Kindergarten year. He is doing well now academically but still, lags in sports. If given the choice again when choosing whether sending him to school or not, I most likely will actually hold him back one more year.

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Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA)

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Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage as normally reference as ICSEA is created for following purpose as described by Myschool. This is often thrown around various of sites and news but mostly without a detailed explanation on what it is and what does it mean.

The index of community socio-educational advantage (ICSEA) was created by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) specifically to enable meaningful comparisons of National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test achievement by students in schools across Australia.

As shown above, the ICSEA for school is made up by only following four factor.

  1. Parents’ Occupation
  2. Parents’ Education
  3. Geographical Location
  4. Proportion of Indigenous Students

The previous version of ICSEA use to use the census data and this is no longer the case. Another important thing to note is that income is not part of equation in calculating the score. Neither is the wealth of the school be taken into account when calculating the score. What this means is that ICSEA may not be such a good score to measure general social economical advantage between schools as some might traditionally think.

It maybe even the case that wealth of the parents have little affect on student’s academic performance, I will have to do more research and to see if there are existing study on this in Australia.

Willoughby Public School Long Over Dued Expansion Plan

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It is apparent to anyone who had visited Willoughby Public School recently which is that the school itself is really crowded. There are demountable everywhere and hardly any grass to be seen. I happen to be a frequent visitor so know this particular school very well. A real nice tree next to the sandpit had to be cut down last year to fit in one extra demountable classroom. Another one had to be fitted on the same playground next to the library taking up valuable open space. Existing school layout look like following

The previous extreme short-sightedness of NSW state government who closed and sold a number of schools in Sydney had come back and bite us in a real nasty fashion. Now with surging enrolment in the state particular many suburbs of Sydney, the new school had to be constructed and existing one expanded. Despite the significant investment recently by the state government, there is still a massive amount of shortfall in the existing school, not to mentioned the expected continue to increase in enrolment in the future.

Willoughby Public School is pretty much a case study of what had and is happening in NSW and Sydney, over last 20 years till now. Massive increase in population and demand in the North Shore area in Sydney had put increasing demand on the local schools. With increasing medium to high-intensity residential development in the local area, there will be increasing pressure on enrolment number for Willoughby Public School. I have already done a previous blog post about Willoughby Public School which you can found as following.

Willoughby Public School

I have read the recent local newspaper and saw the proposed upgrade plan and it is great to see something finally is going to be done about the overcrowding of the school and cater for the future increase in enrolment as well. More information can be found directly on Willoughby Public School’s website.

Demolition Plan

Concept Option 1

Concept Option 2

Concept Option 3

The preferred floor plan is as following.

Preferred Concept Option Floor Ground

Preferred Concept Option Floor One

Preferred Concept Option Floor Two


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Is NSW Selective Schools Becoming Bastions Of Inequality

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I read this article ‘Bastions of inequality’: selective schools increasingly cater to the most advantaged students by Christina Ho on SMH about a month ago and have not had time to write my thought about it until now.

First to summarise what the article had been trying to convey which is roughly the following

As public schools designed to cater for gifted and talented students, selective schools should be accessible to high achievers regardless of family background. The MySchool figures raise serious questions about how accessible or meritocratic selective schools really are. They have become more inaccessible in recent years, almost completely so to the most disadvantaged groups.

Selective schools were set up to provide opportunities to the gifted and talented, not just the wealthy, gifted and talented.

While I agree with the who gains entrance to our selective schools, this is not in dispute by either hard facts and personal experience as well. However what need to be said is that enrolment into the selective high school purely based on examination result is arguably the fairest method of doing so. As the Christina had pointed out in the article that selective high schools as a public school are designed to cater for gifted and talented students. How else can we judge and determine who is more gifted and talented?

We can patch the issue by creating quotas to admit students from different social economic backgrounds. This does not solve the fundamental cause of students from high social economic background performs betters than their counterparts from the lower social economic background. I am a big believer of admittance purely based on examination result which despite its flaws still is the fairest and best way to go. What we should be doing to why this is happening in our education system and what we can do to minimise it. It is impossible completely eradicate this phenomenal, but we can most definitely improve on what we have currently.

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Full Sydney High School Year 7 to 10 Catchment Map Completed

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I have been working on this in the last few weeks and have now completed it. The full map can be found as following, in addition to the ones that has been completed previously, about 100 new school zones are being added now.

  • Airds High School
  • Ambarvale High School
  • Arthur Phillip High School
  • Ashcroft High School
  • Asquith Boys and Girls High School
  • Auburn Girls High School
  • Bankstown Girls High School
  • Bass High School
  • Belmore Boys and Wiley Park Girls High School
  • Beverly Hills Girls High School
  • Birrong Boys and Girls High School
  • Blacktown Boys and Girls High School
  • Blaxland High School
  • Bonnyrigg High School
  • Bossley Park High School
  • Cabramatta High School
  • Cambridge Park High School
  • Camden High School
  • Camden High School
  • Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
  • Canley Vale High School
  • Casula High School
  • Cecil Hills High School
  • Cheltenham Girls High School
  • Chester Hill High School
  • Chifley College Bidwill Campus
  • Chifley College Dunheved Campus
  • Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus
  • Chifley College Shalvey Campus
  • Colo High School
  • Colyton High School
  • Condell Park High School
  • Cranebrook High School
  • Doonside High School
  • Eagle Vale High School
  • East Hills Boys High School and Easter Hills Girls Technology High School
  • Elderslie High School
  • Elizabeth Macarthur High School
  • Epping Boys High School
  • Erskine Park High School
  • Evans High School
  • Fairfield High School
  • Fairvale High School
  • Frenchs Forest Public School
  • Galston High School
  • Glenmore Park High School
  • Granville Boys High School
  • Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Greystanes High School
  • Hawkesbury High School
  • Holroyd High School
  • Holsworthy High School
  • Hoxton Park High School
  • Ingleburn High School
  • James Busby High School
  • James Meehan High School
  • Jamison High School
  • John Edmondson High School
  • Kingsgrove North High School
  • Kingswood High School
  • Leumeah High School
  • Liverpool Boys and Girls High School
  • Lurnea High School
  • Macarthur Girls High School
  • Macquarie Fields High School
  • Merrylands High School
  • Miller High School
  • Mitchell High School
  • Moorebank High School
  • Mount Annan High School
  • Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School
  • Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys and Mackellar Girls Campus
  • Northern Beaches Secondary College Cromer Campus
  • Pendle Hill High School
  • Picnic Point High School
  • Plumpton High School
  • Prairiewood High School
  • Punchbowl Boys High School
  • Quakers Hill High School
  • Richmond High School
  • Riverside Girls High School
  • Riverstone High School
  • Robert Townson High School
  • Rooty Hill High School
  • Sarah Redfern High School
  • Sefton High School
  • Seven Hills High School
  • Sir Joseph Banks High School
  • St Clair High School
  • St Johns Park High School
  • The Hills Sports High School
  • Thomas Reddall High School
  • Westfields Sports High School
  • Willoughby Girls High School
  • Windsor High School

The most common name used by NSW Department of Education is called “catchment” which refer to that students resides in particular area are guaranteed position in specific schools. When discussed from prospective of a particular school is often referred as one of the following term.

  • School Zone
  • School intake area
  • School catchment

As usual contact the school in question or Department of Education for the final confirmation and you can also access the full NSW and Sydney High School Catchment Map by following this link.

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Western Australia Primary School Local Intake Area Map

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This page will hold the Western Australia Primary School Local Intake Area map, currently, it is pretty much a Perth only one. I got most of these done last year but never had time to tidy it up and make them available to the public. I finally wrapped up a number of projects recently or rather got them to a point where I can put them aside for a bit and get back to working on this.

I will eventually try and map all primary school local intake area for Western Australia, however, this is a lot of work to do and will be a long-term thing as I only have so much time to work on this. One more thing to note is that local intake area may also be called school zone, school catchment etc.

Western Australia Primary School Local Intake Area Map

You will have to zoom down further as it is an Australian wide one and so individual school local intake area is very small in comparison.

  • Adam Road Primary School
  • Albany Primary School
  • Alinjarra Primary School
  • Alkimos Beach Primary School
  • Alkimos Primary School
  • Applecross Primary School
  • Ardross Primary School
  • Ashburton Drive Primary School
  • Ashdale Primary School
  • Attadale Primary School
  • Atwell Primary School
  • Australind Primary School
  • Balcatta Primary School
  • Balga Primary School
  • Ballajura Primary School
  • Bambara Primary School
  • Banksia Grove Primary School
  • Banksia Park Primary School
  • Bannister Creek Primary School
  • Bateman Primary School
  • Bayswater Primary School
  • Beaconsfield Primary School
  • Beaumaris Primary School
  • Beechboro Primary School
  • Beeliar Primary School
  • Beldon Primary School
  • Belmay Primary School
  • Bertram Primary School
  • Bibra Lake Primary School
  • Bicton Primary School
  • Bletchley Park Primary School
  • Booragoon Primary School
  • Boyare Primary School
  • Bramfield Park Primary School
  • Brentwood Primary School
  • Brookman Primary School
  • Bull Creek Primary School
  • Burrendah Primary School
  • Butler Primary School
  • Caladenia Primary School
  • Calista Primary School
  • Camboon Primary School
  • Campbell Primary School
  • Canning Vale Primary School
  • Caralee Community School
  • Carine Primary School
  • Carramar Primary School
  • Caversham Primary School
  • Challis Primary School
  • Churchlands Primary School
  • City Beach Primary School
  • Clarkson Primary School
  • Clifton Park Primary School
  • Cloverdale Primary School
  • Collier Primary School
  • Como Primary School
  • Connolly Primary School
  • Coogee Primary School
  • Coolbellup Community School
  • Coolbinia Primary School
  • Cottesloe Primary School
  • Craigie Heights Primary School
  • Creaney Primary School
  • Currambine Primary School
  • Curtin Primary School
  • Dalkeith Primary School
  • Dalmain Primary School
  • Davallia Primary School
  • Deanmore Primary School
  • Dianella Heights Primary School
  • Doubleview Primary School
  • Dryandra Primary School
  • Duncraig Primary School
  • East Beechboro Primary School
  • East Butler Primary School
  • East Fremantle Primary School
  • East Hamersley Primary School
  • East Wanneroo Primary School
  • Eddystone Primary School
  • Eden Hill Primary School
  • Edgewater Primary School
  • Excelsior Primary School
  • Floreat Park Primary School
  • Forest Crescent Primary School
  • Fremantle Primary School
  • Freshwater Bay Primary School
  • Glendale Primary School
  • Glengarry Primary School
  • Goollelal Primary School
  • Greenwood Primary School
  • Guildford Primary School
  • Gwynne Park Primary School
  • Halidon Primary School
  • Hammond Park Primary School
  • Hampton Park Primary School
  • Harmony Primary School
  • Harrisdale Primary School
  • Hawker Park Primary School
  • Heathridge Primary School
  • Highgate Primary School
  • Hillarys Primary School
  • Hilton Primary School
  • Hocking Primary School
  • Hollywood Primary School
  • Hudson Park Primary School
  • Huntingdale Primary School
  • Illawarra Primary School
  • Inglewood Primary School
  • Jandakot Primary School
  • Jolimont Primary School
  • Joondalup Primary School
  • Kapinara Primary School
  • Kardinya Primary School
  • Karrinyup Primary School
  • Kensington Primary School
  • Kewdale Primary School
  • Kinross Primary School
  • Koondoola Primary School
  • Kyilla Primary School
  • Lake Gwelup Primary School
  • Lake Monger Primary School
  • Lansdale Primary School
  • Leeming Primary School
  • Lockridge Primary School
  • Madeley Primary School
  • Manning Primary School
  • Marangaroo Primary School
  • Marmion Primary School
  • Marylands Peninsula Primary School
  • Medina Primary School
  • Melville Primary School
  • Merriwa Primary School
  • Mindarie Primary School
  • Mirrabooka Primary School
  • Mosman Park Primary School
  • Mount Claremont Primary School
  • Mount Hawthorn Primary School
  • Mount Lawley Primary School
  • Mount Pleasant Primary School
  • Mullaloo Beach Primary School
  • Mullaloo Heights Primary School
  • Nedlands Primary School
  • Neerigen Brook Primary School
  • Newborough Primary School
  • Newton Primary School
  • Nollamara Primary School
  • Noranda Primary School
  • North Balga Primary School
  • North Beach Primary School
  • North Cottesloe Primary School
  • North Fremantle Primary School
  • North Morley Primary School
  • North Parmelia Primary School
  • North Perth Primary School
  • North Woodvale Primary School
  • Oberthur Primary School
  • Ocean Reef Primary School
  • Orelia Primary School
  • Osborne Primary School
  • Padbury Primary School
  • Palmyra Primary School
  • Parkfield Primary School
  • Parkwood Primary School
  • Pearsall Primary School
  • Phoenix Primary School
  • Piara Waters Primary School
  • Poseidon Primary School
  • Poynter Primary School
  • Quinns Beach Primary School
  • Quinns Rock Primary School
  • Ranford Primary School
  • Richmond Primary School
  • Riverton Primary School
  • Rosalie Primary School
  • Roseworth Primary School
  • Rossmoyne Primary School
  • Rostrata Primary School
  • Rowlinson Primary School
  • Samson Primary School
  • Scarborough Primary School
  • Seaforth Primary School
  • Shelley Primary School
  • Somerly Primary School
  • Sorrento Primary School
  • South Ballajura Primary School
  • South Coogee Primary School
  • South Lake Primary School
  • South Padbury Primary School
  • South Perth Primary School
  • South Thornlie Primary School
  • Southwell Primary School
  • Spring Hill Primary School
  • Springfield Primary School
  • Subiaco Primary School
  • Success Primary School
  • Sutherland Dianella Primary School
  • Swanbourne Primary School
  • Takari Primary School
  • Tapping Primary School
  • Tuart Hill Primary School
  • Victoria Park Primary School
  • Waddington Primary School
  • Wanneroo Primary School
  • Warriapendi Primary School
  • Weld Square Primary School
  • Wembley Downs Primary School
  • Wembley Primary School
  • West Balcatta Primary School
  • West Beechboro Primary School
  • West Greenwood Primary School
  • West Leederville Primary School
  • West Leeming Primary School
  • Westfield Park Primary School
  • Westminster Primary School
  • White Gum Valley Primary School
  • Willandra Primary School
  • Willetton Primary School
  • Winterfold Primary School
  • Winthrop Primary School
  • Wirrabirra Primary School
  • Woodbridge Primary School
  • Woodlands Primary School
  • Woodvale Primary School
  • Yangebup Primary School
  • Yokine Primary School
  • Yuluma Primary School

As usual contact the school in question for the final confirmation.

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