The Department of Education in Tasmania has announced that some changes are on the way with respect to the home area maps related to State Government schools.
The home areas are defined for each primary school in the State and where you live determines at which school your children will have a guaranteed place. You can apply to other schools but will not be able to secure a place unless there is space.
The primary schools then feed into the State high schools, of which there are many less. It appears that this is where many of the changes lie with some primary schools now likely to feed into a different high school.
Details on the school home areas and the proposed changes can be found at the Department of Education website.
This story from The Mercury.
School Zones to be Changed
Thousands of Tasmanian students will find their “local” high school is no longer their local-area school under a redrafting of school catchment areas and enrolment procedures.
A major change under the Government proposal, released last night, is the lists of feeder schools for each high school have been altered in many cases. Details can be found on the Department of Education’s website.
Home areas are determined for primary schools, not high schools, which are linked to the primary school a child attended.
For example, Geilston Bay High School, which has four “associate” primary schools Gagebrook, Herdsmans Cove, Lindisfarne North and Risdon Vale would only be linked to Lindisfarne North and Risdon Vale.
Gagebrook and Herdsmans Cove would be linked only to the Jordan River Learning Federation at Bridgewater.
The popular Ogilvie High School would drop Goulburn St Primary and Mount Stuart, which would link to Taroona High School. Ogilvie would gain Moonah Primary, now linked to Cosgrove.
Bellerive Primary would swap Rose Bay High School for Clarence High School.
Parents wanting to send their children to a different high school would have to first see their local high school principal.
The new rules, which would apply from 2015, would not apply to existing students and parents would still be able to apply to other schools as they do now.
Criteria to be taken into account by out-of-area principals include disability, sibling attendance, illness and health, curriculum, family links and childcare.
Parents sending their child to a non-local school would have to cover extra bus fares incurred, instead of the taxpayer-funded subsidy now available.
New catchment maps have been released for public comment.
Education Minister Nick McKim urged people to have their say and improve the current procedures.
“While parents and carers are always encouraged to send their children to the local school, these procedures in no way prevent them from applying to schools elsewhere,” Mr McKim said.
State School Parents and Friends president Jenny Eddington said: “School communities need to take a close look at the policy and give clear feedback.”
Liberal education spokesman Michael Ferguson said it appeared to seriously curtail parent choice.
Comment can be made until August 30.
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