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What Brisbane School Catchment Area am I in? Find out here!

Bisbane school catchment areas refer to the geographical location, determined by specific boundaries, where the majority of enrolled state school students must live to attend that school.

Every Queensland student, from Prep to Year 12, will find that they are automatically within a specific Brisbane school catchment zone for a particular state school. Here’s what you need to know about finding your state primary or state secondary school catchment Brisbane area.

Why do we have Brisbane school catchment areas?

Brisbane state primary and Brisbane state high school catchment areas are in place so each child is guaranteed a place at a local state school. State primary schools and state high schools will each have their own individual catchment areas that may overlap.

School catchment areas in Brisbane can also ensure that equitable amounts of government funding are sent to the right places. That ensures that the area will be adequately serviced by school buses and that appropriate safety measures, like school crossings and guards, are correctly distributed. Brisbane high school catchment areas need to have their resources matched to their student populations needs.

As your child will automatically be enrolled in your local state school all you will need to do to confirm your interest is to fill out an application form and provide proof of residency. This might mean you show a rates notice, a tenancy agreement or bills that demonstrate you are the property occupier within the zone boundaries. You may own your property or you may rent in that Brisbane state school catchment zone.

Catchments and zones can change

Brisbane school catchment area - Ipswich private school scholarship

When new schools open, catchments are adjusted to form a new equidistant boundary with the old school. If your child is already enrolled at a school before the boundary changes you do not have to switch schools unless you choose to. Younger siblings can also generally enrol at the same school as their older siblings provided they remain living within the school’s former catchment.

Because catchments can change, it is a good idea to check yours periodically (particularly if you are in an area that has new schools being built) to see if you are affected. Brisbane primary school catchments as well as secondary school catchments in Brisbane are currently being affected by the building of new schools! Visit the ‘Building Future Schools,’This website shows new schools being built across Brisbane so you can check to see if you are affected by the upcoming changes.

New Brisbane state schools opened 2020

  • Fortitude Valley State Secondary School – opened to Year 7 students
  • Yarrabilba State Secondary College – opened to Years 7 & 8
  • Foxwell State Secondary College, Coomera – opened to Year 7 students
  • Mango Hill State Secondary College – opened to Years 7 & 8
  • Ripley Valley State School – opened for prep to Year 6
  • Ripley Valley State Secondary School – opened to Years 7 & 8

New Brisbane state schools opening 2021

  • Inner City South State Secondary College, Dutton Park – opening to Year 7 students

What if I don’t like my Brisbane state high school catchment area?

It is possible to enrol your child at a state school outside of your designated school catchment area. However, you will be put on a wait list to ensure that local children get places first. If this is your situation, we recommend you get your application in sooner rather than later so you are towards the top of the waiting list.

You might secure enrolment if:

  • You apply early
  • All students who live in that catchment area are catered for
  • All classes at the school have an even spread of students
  • Non-catchment students won’t negatively impact the educational outcomes of the catchment students

How to find your school catchment area

This Department of Education and Training has a Brisbane school catchment map that will allow you to scroll over school catchment zones until you find your street. Primary and secondary school catchments are different and are shown in different colours. Be aware that primary school catchments are much smaller than high school ones.

You can enter your address and find out the exact state primary and state high school that your housing is zoned into here.

Helpful links related to choosing a school

School open days across Brisbane

How to get a scholarship to a private school in Brisbane

Secondary school ranking (with links to primary school ranking)

How to apply to change schools

This article was featured in Issue 38 of our printed magazine, published February 2020.

Photo of author

Joanne Crane

Joanne loves speaking directly to people of all ages through the medium of writing, sharing tips and knowledge for families and kids to help everyone get the most out of life. Her focus is on the development of resilience, confidence and independence in children, and on helping families engage and create lasting memories. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth are vital skills that Joanne believes children need to learn early to help them grow as adults.

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