Enrolling and starting at secondary school

When should I enrol my child in secondary school?

Students move on to secondary school when they have finished Year 8, usually when they are 13 (although some will be younger or older).

If your child is going on to your local state secondary school, you can enrol them during Year 8.

If you want them to go to a private or state integrated school, check with the school well ahead of time to find out about their enrolling process and timing. Some schools might have long waiting lists, and you could have to apply years in advance to get a place.

If you want your child to go to a zoned school outside of your area, check with the school about the timing and application process.

Don't know what secondary school will suit your child? Get tips on choosing a secondary school.

How do I enrol my child?

Get enrolment forms and instructions from the school. Either go to the school's website, or phone to ask for the forms and information.

Try to visit the school with your child before they start their first term. This will help them get familiar with the school, and getting there and home again. If your secondary school has an orientation day for new students, encourage your child to go so they can meet teachers and other students before they start.

What do they need when they start?

Most schools will provide a list of everything new students need to bring, including stationery supplies. If you don't have a list, check with the school for what they want students to bring.

Most secondary schools have a compulsory uniform, and in many schools this includes physical education (PE) gear. If the uniform cost is an issue for you, check with the school, as parent groups often run second-hand uniform schemes.

To get things off to a good start, and reduce stress, have everything ready for your child's first day.

Don't forget breakfast and lunch. Nutritious meals will help your child learn better, and stay alert and healthy.

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