With ed­u­ca­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

but there were many other as­pects to consider.

“Make sure to col­lect all the in­for­ma­tion about the schools and ask lots of ques­tions when tour­ing the cam­pus,” Mr Wal­ter said.

“Lis­ten for the in­for­ma­tion about what you value in ed­u­ca­tion and make sure you raise any con­cerns.”

Mr Wal­ter and Mr Parry have pro­vided an­swers to com­mon ques­tions.

What does neigh­bour­hood schools mean?

The neigh­bour­hood schools pro­gram en­cour­ages peo­ple to send chil­dren to their near­est school in re­la­tion to their per­ma­nent res­i­dence. Fam­i­lies al­ways have a place for their chil­dren at their neigh­bour­hood school. If a fam­ily wants to at­tend a school out­side their neigh­bour­hood they can, but only if the school is be­low ca­pac­ity. If the school is full, en­rol­ments for stu­dents out­side of the neigh­bour­hood can­not be ac­cepted. What is the com­mon be­lief around neigh­bour­hood school zon­ing?

The most com­mon mis­con­cep­tion is that peo­ple are zoned to a par­tic­u­lar gov­ern­ment school and that is the school they must at­tend. That is in­cor­rect. Par­ents al­ways have choice. As gov­ern­ment school lead­ers we want fam­i­lies to at­tend their neigh­bour­hood school but peo­ple are not zoned and do not have to at­tend any par­tic­u­lar school.

What process is in­volved in choos­ing and en­rolling in school?

The first step when en­rolling is to make con­tact with the school. Or­gan­ise a school tour and get an in­for­ma­tion pack.

You will learn about the Neigh­bour­hood School Pol­icy. This is the pol­icy for all Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment schools and en­sures all stu­dents who want to at­tend their neigh­bour­hood school can do so. Fam­i­lies who live within the neigh­bour­hood-mapped area will al­ways have pri­or­ity ahead of peo­ple who live out­side the neigh­bour­hood.

As prin­ci­pals we in­sist fam­i­lies tour their neigh­bour­hood school as en­rol­ments to at­tend a school out­side of your neigh­bour­hood will not be con­sid­ered un­til that tour has taken place.

Af­ter com­plet­ing a tour and mak­ing a de­ci­sion, fam­i­lies need to com­plete doc­u­men­ta­tion to en­rol. If fam­i­lies are choos­ing their neigh­bour­hood school they should com­plete the full en­rol­ment form.

If fam­i­lies are choos­ing to at­tend a school out­side their neigh­bour­hood they should com­plete the Pref­er­ence Form, com­monly known as the Wait­ing List form.

All en­rol­ments and pref­er­ence forms are sorted at the end of June and dur­ing July or Au­gust, fam­i­lies will re­ceive a letter in the mail, which states which school their child will be at­tend­ing.

What should par­ents when choos­ing a school?

When en­rolling your first child you need to re­mem­ber that you are mak­ing a big com­mit­ment. If you have one child you are mak­ing a com­mit­ment consider with that school for at least seven years. If you have more than one child you are look­ing at hav­ing that re­la­tion­ship for 10, 12, or maybe 15 years. It is important the school you choose is right for your child but also right for your fam­ily.

Ev­ery­one’s val­ues are dif­fer­ent when it comes to ed­u­ca­tion and when tour­ing a school, or go­ing through an in­for­ma­tion pack, make sure you see or hear things that you value.

If you don’t see or hear those things then ask ques­tions. Make sure you get all the in­for­ma­tion you are seek­ing.

An important con­sid­er­a­tion when choos­ing a school is the re­la­tion­ships your fam­ily will form with the staff.

Learn­ing is a part­ner­ship be­tween home and school. It is important you feel as­sured a school will value your in­put and be re­spon­sive to your thoughts and con­cerns.

Par­ents and stu­dents are the best ad­vo­cates for schools. Talk to other par­ents about their con­nect­ed­ness with staff. Chil­dren are in­tu­itive and en­joy shar­ing thoughts and feel­ings about their learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

When it all comes down to it, the school you choose must ‘feel’ right. Af­ter tour­ing each school hav­ing seen and heard as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble, you are then ready to make the de­ci­sion about what is go­ing to be best for you and your fam­ily.

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