School operations


Designated neighbourhood schools — school zones

The designated neighbourhood school (school zone) is usually the school that is nearest the student’s permanent residence, unless the regional director:

  • needs to restrict new enrolments at a school
  • has designated the neighbourhood boundaries for the school

School zones are generally determined by the nearest school by straight line distance in metropolitan areas and major regional cities, or the nearest school by shortest practical route in regional areas.

The straight line is used in metropolitan areas and major regional cities because it is generally the most reliable method for determining the ‘closest’ school.

In regional and rural Victoria, the shortest route method is used which recognises main road networks. Both methods can produce some anomalies; to address this, some adjustments have been to the zones to account for natural barriers such as major rivers and gorges. This section defines the measure of the nearest school:

  • If the student resides in the metropolitan region, Ballarat, Bendigo or Geelong, then the nearest school is measured by a straight line from the student’s residence.
  • If the student resides in any other area, then the nearest school is measured by the shortest practicable route.

School zones are available at Find My School.

Chapter in the Enrolment in a Victorian Government School Guidelines explaining how the Department determines designated neighbourhood schools and zones

Reviewed 26 November 2020

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