Student enrolment

How are out of zone students selected?

Students who live outside of the home zone may only enrol if they are offered a place in accordance with pre-enrolment procedures laid down in the Education and Training Act 2020.

Schools must publicly notify that applications are being received for out of zone students. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, a selection process must be followed.

Priorities for selecting out of zone students

These priorities and their order are set out in the Education and Training Act 2020. Boards can't set their own priorities.

  • First priority is given to students who have been accepted for enrolment in a special programme run by the school.
  • Second priority will be given to applicants who are siblings of current students.
  • Third priority will be given to applicants who are siblings of former students.
  • Fourth priority will be given to applicants who are children of former students.
  • Fifth priority will be given to applicants who are either children of board employees or children of board members.
  • Sixth priority will be given to all other applicants.

Education and Training Act 2020, Schedule 20, section 2 – Legislation website

Processes for selecting out of zone students

If there are more applicants in the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth priority groups than there are places available, selection within the priority group must be by ballot for the remaining places.

The board must notify each applicant of when and how a ballot will be held and of the results.

Note: if two siblings apply at the same time at the same level, they are to be treated as one applicant for the purposes of the ballot.


  • All students applying for enrolment should be treated consistently.
  • No student may be excluded on technical grounds or for any other matter inconsistent with the purpose of the scheme.
  • Schools may not seek donations for out-of-zone enrolment applications.
  • Students must provide accurate enrolment information and enrolment may be annulled if based on false information.

See also: Incorrect address information

Further information

Education and Training Act, Schedule 20 – Legislation website

Tools for schools – Ministry of Education 

Key dates for out-of-zone applications – Ministry of Education 

Updated: August 2020

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