Out-of-catchment kids are flocking to in-demand schools despite strict enrolment measures designed to keep numbers in check. CHECK YOUR SCHOOL’S STATS HERE.
Out-of-catchment kids are flocking to in-demand schools despite strict enrolment measures designed to keep numbers in check. CHECK YOUR SCHOOL’S STATS HERE.

FULL LIST: How many out-of-catchment kids attend your school

Thousands of out-of-catchment kids are still flocking to attend in-demand public schools despite strict enrolment plans designed to keep student numbers in check.

New data on the number of students travelling from outside catchment areas to attend Queensland state schools has been revealed, with high schools more likely to be housing kids from other parts of the city.

The state's largest and top-performing high school Brisbane State High welcomed more than 1600 kids, or about 48 per cent of its students, from outside its inner-city location in 2020.

The school has had long-running issues with alleged catchment fraud along with a squeeze on classroom space, with some kids forced to temporarily have lessons in the library earlier this year.

This was despite the building of the new Brisbane South State Secondary College, designed to take the pressure off BSHS.

Many of the school's out-of-catchment students were enrolled under BSHS's selective entry program, which regularly sees more than 1000 pupils chosen on academic, sporting and cultural grounds.

 

 

The newly-opened Fortitude Valley State Secondary College saw more than half of its initial intake of students coming from outside its catchment.

About 580 Queensland schools are under enrolment management plans, which are initiated once a school reaches 80 per cent of its students capacity.

Brisbane State High School had about 48 per cent of its more than 3000 students attend from outside of the catchment. Picture: Supplied
Brisbane State High School had about 48 per cent of its more than 3000 students attend from outside of the catchment. Picture: Supplied

These include large suburban schools such as Wavell State High School, Mount Gravatt State High School and Corinda State High School, which each had more than 70 per cent or at least 1100 students from outside their catchment areas.

Queensland Teachers Union' president Cresta Richardson said highly desirable schools in growth areas were more likely to attract demand for enrolments, including from outside the catchment.

"Different schools have different rules about accepting out-of-catchment students, and principals have the authority to enrol students if they have the capacity," she said.

"Catchment areas can also change, based on growth in the area."

Queensland Teachers' Union president Cresta Richardson says school catchment areas can change. Picture: Supplied
Queensland Teachers' Union president Cresta Richardson says school catchment areas can change. Picture: Supplied

Ms Richardson also said some families may live in the area at the time of enrolment, but then later move while keeping their kids at the same school.

Meanwhile other schools under strict enrolment capacities have managed to keep their cohorts almost entirely to local kids.

At Brisbane Central State School just 24 kids or only five per cent of its student body were from outside the catchment in 2020, while at New Farm State School it was just seven per cent.

Ironside State School, which has experienced "exceptional, unabated growth in its school population" according to its enrolment management plan, kept its out-of-catchment numbers to just 12 per cent or only 131 students last year.

At New Farm State School just seven per cent of its students were from outside the catchment in 2020. Pic: Mark Cranitch
At New Farm State School just seven per cent of its students were from outside the catchment in 2020. Pic: Mark Cranitch

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said parents had the choice of enrolling their child in their local school, or gaining entry to a school with a specialised education program, such as Brisbane State High School.

She said enrolment management plans were designed to ensure local students were accommodated.

"Where there is spare capacity, the principal may offer places to out-of-catchment students in line with their school enrolment management plan," she said.

LNP education spokesman Christian Rowan said better infrastructure planning around schools was needed, particularly in the western suburbs of Brisbane.

"Despite the Labor Government's recent allocated capital infrastructure spending, there are many state primary and high schools that are in desperate need of additional classrooms, library facilities, and new or upgraded school halls," he said.

"There are also significant emerging issues related to enrolment catchment policies under the state Labor Government, with some schools having large out-of-area enrolments, which is impeding the access of local students within their designated catchment area."

 

Originally published as FULL LIST: How many out-of-catchment kids attend your school



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