Finding and enrolling in school

Get help to find schools in your area and information on enrolling your child in school or home schooling.

Selecting a school

Your child will usually go to the government school closest to where you live. You can also choose:

  • a different government school if they have places available
  • a specialist school that teaches students with additional needs or specialises in a subject
  • a Catholic or independent school
  • to home school.

Your state or territory government can help you find a local school. These links will take you away from our website. You can also use them to enrol once you’ve chosen your school.

State or territory Resource
ACT Use the ACT education map on the ACT Government website.
NSW Use the NSW Public School Finder on the Education New South Wales website.
NT Use the Education Directory on the Northern Territory Government website.
Qld Use the Schools Directory on the Queensland Department of Education website.
SA Find schools, preschools and other services on the South Australian Department for Education website.
Tas Use the Tasmanian Department of Education’s School Directory on their website.
Vic Use Find my School on the Victorian Department of Education and Training website.
WA Find schools in WA on the Western Australian Department of Education website.

Enrolling in school

You can generally enrol your child in school at any time during the year. It’s good to plan early. There could be a waiting list at the school you want your child to attend. Many schools start taking enrolments the year before the child is due to start.

When you enrol your child, the school may ask for their immunisation history. You can get an immunisation history statement using your Medicare online account.

Before your child starts school is a good time for a dental check-up. The Child Dental Benefits Schedule covers eligible children and teenagers aged 2 to 17.

Registering in home schooling

Home schooling means you’re in charge of educating your dependent children during their compulsory education period. This starts the beginning of the year in which your child turns 5 years and 6 months. Depending on which happens first, it finishes either:

  • at the end of the year in which they turn 17 years and 6 months
  • when they turn 18 years old.

If you want to educate your child at home, you’ll need to register them with your State or Territory Education department.

Meeting mutual obligation requirements while home schooling

Home schooling may affect your ability to meet your mutual obligation requirements if you’re getting certain income support payments from us.

If you’re a principal carer, and home schooling a dependent child, you may be exempt from these requirements. The exemption may be granted for up to 12 months at a time. Read more about exemptions from mutual obligation requirements for principal carers.

Page last updated: 27 October 2022.
QC 60106