How to investigate school catchments in Brisbane?
06 September 2022

Hi, Sam Price here from Templeton Property and today I’d like to discuss – How to investigate school catchments in Brisbane?

What is a school catchment?

A school catchment, as defined by the Queensland Government, is “The geographical location where a state school’s core intake of students must live.”

School catchments are in place to ensure that each child is guaranteed a spot at their local state school. The aim being that all children between Prep and Year 12 residing within the catchment zone, can be enrolled at the local state school, which is usually the one situated closest to their home.

School Catchment Map for Greater Brisbane.

Can we send our child to a school in a different school catchment to where we live?

Some schools have capacity to take in more students than the students residing in their designated catchment, these schools are said to have open catchments and welcome children from surrounding areas. If this is the case, it is still wise to apply early or put your name on the wait list as soon as possible.

Schools in high demand have closed catchments, where students must be strictly living within the defined catchment area.

Keep in mind schools need to not only consider the current demand from students in their catchment, but also the future demand, to ensure that forecast enrolments don’t exceed the school’s capacity for students.

How can I check the school catchment zones?

The easiest and quickest way to find out the catchment zones for the different schools is to look at the EdMap website. This integrated mapping system allows you to search by either a property address, or via the school name.

Please note that primary schools and secondary schools often have different catchment zones.

Map of Ashgrove State School Catchment area

Catchments can change

When new schools are opened, extended or occasionally close, the school catchment is adjusted to accommodate the change to the capacity of the nearby schools. Therefore, its wise to check the current catchment zone prior to making a big decision such as buying a property in a particular school catchment area.

Schools recently opened include:

  • Fortitude Valley State Secondary School, Fortitude Valley
  • Yarrabilba State Secondary College, Yarrabilba
  • Foxwell State Secondary College, Coomera
  • Mango Hill State Secondary College, Mango Hill
  • Ripley Valley State School, Ripley
  • Ripley Valley State Secondary School, Ripley
  • Inner City South State Secondary College, Dutton Park

School Enrolment Management Plans

A School Enrolment Management Plan is implemented in state schools which are nearing it’s student enrolment capacity. Therefore in order to ensure sufficient facilities are available for in catchment students, these schools are required to restrict the enrolments from out of catchment students. This is implemented when enrolments reach 80% of the school’s student enrolment capacity. A school’s student enrolment capacity is the number of students the school can accommodate within the existing scope of the school.

To enrol in a school that has a School Enrolment Management Plan (EMP), students must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the School EMP.

Proof of residency

For schools which have a School Enrolment Management Plan in place, the school may require proof of residency as to demonstrate where the child resides. This may include a copy of the lease, rates notice, utility bills and a statutory declaration.

Example School Catchment EMP

Brisbane State High is a highly sought after school and as such, they have very strict catchment enrolment criteria which often sees parents purchasing or leasing property in the catchment area purely to secure enrolment for their children. At the time of enrolment, parents and guardians must provide proof of residency at the address within the catchment area and sign a statutory declaration confirming that the information provided is true and correct.

Brisbane State High Proof of Residency

How do we as Brisbane Buyer’s Agents consider school catchments when purchasing a property for a client?

It is quite common that a client of ours, often an owner occupier, will specify to us that they are looking to send their children to a particular school and therefore require a property that is located within a specific school catchment. In these cases, the purchaser is electing to choose a public/state school education over the private school path. Essentially this can save them many tens of thousands of dollars of school fees over the years.

In these instances, we us the school catchment map to identify the boundary of our search area, and from there we speak to all the agents in the target area to learn about new and upcoming listings as well as off market listings that might meet our clients requirements.

A selection of school catchments that have been highly sought after by our clients of recent times include Ascot State School, Eagle Junction State School, Mansfield State School, Ashgrove State School, Milton State School etc.

As a result of the increased demand for particular State schools throughout Brisbane, property values in these catchment suburbs have escalated higher and faster than other suburbs, and we can only see this continuing well into the future.

Example of a purchase in the Eagle Junction State School catchment

A new client appointed Templeton Property to act as Buyer’s Agents to assist them in purchasing a family home that would allow their children enrolment to attend Eagle Junction State School.

  1. We confirmed that Eagle Junction State School has a closed catchment and accordingly enrolment to the school is subject to an Enrolment Management Plan. Therefore, the property we were looking for needed to be located clearly within the defined catchment area.
  2. We then reviewed the current edMap catchment map and set additional parameters and requirements for the location, type and style of property we were looking for in this area. E.g., Walking distance to the school, shops, train station; size of allotment; style and size of the house; avoiding main roads, train line, Airport Link tunnel, flooding etc.
  3. We set about emailing and calling all the agents that work in the Ascot, Clayfield and Kalinga suburbs and discussed with them what they had available, coming soon as well as off market properties.
  4. Success – Within 4 weeks of commencing the search we had secured our clients a beautiful family home, off market and in walking distance of the Eagle Junction Train Station and well and truly within the Eagle Junction State School where their children are now attending.

Map of Eagle Junction State School Catchment

If you would like to chat with a Brisbane Buyer’s Agent about buying a property in a particular school catchment, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.

Links to searches:

Have a property related question you would like answered?

Feel free to contact us via email or call 07 3368 1988 We look forward to hearing from you.
Sam Price, Director & Lead Buyer’s Agent Templeton Property – Brisbane.

Sam Price

About Sam Price

Sam Price is Director and lead Buyer's Agent at Templeton Property. He has been helping client's purchase their ideal home and investment properties for over 15 years. He is a Registered Property Valuer and his qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Property Studies), Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning and a Masters is Professional Accounting. Sam is married and has 2 school aged girls who keep his life very exciting.