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Northern Beaches Secondary College

Northern Beaches Secondary College

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Telephone02 9939 6942

Enrolment procedure

Northern Beaches Secondary College Enrolment Procedure

The underlying principle of Northern Beaches Secondary College (NBSC) is to ensure the provision of the highest quality educational experience for every student regardless of campus location.

Our policy has been developed as a college and applies to all enrolment applications. The policy is based on legislation which ensures:

  • Children are entitled to be enrolled in Year 7 at the campus that is designated for the intake area within which the child's home is situated and that the child is eligible to attend.

  • Campus local areas are determined by the Department of Education (DoE) through a process involving consultation between the Asset Management Unit and the Director (or designated officer)

  • Parents may seek to enrol their child in the school or campus of their choice, or may elect to attend another school which would become their designated school.

  • Enrolment in a selective school or campus is managed by the procedures of the DoE High Performing Students Unit and so have unique processes which do not involve a local intake area.

Campuses are required to set an enrolment number to cater for anticipated local demand and to seek to ensure that every eligible local child has a place at the local school if the child chooses to attend it. Each campus will provide places to students who move into the designated intake area during the secondary school years.

  • Our enrolment policies and practices are transparent and non-discriminatory.
  • The primary criteria for acceptance of non-local enrolments will include the availability of appropriate staff with permanent classroom accommodation and other factors based on the needs of the school.
  • The decision on where to enrol a student, and with what level of support, will depend on a number of factors, including a student's educational needs, the expressed desires of parents and caregivers, the capacity of the system to provide the level of support services required generally and at a particular location and the availability of support services at alternative locations.

The School Finder tool provides information about school intake areas to assist parents in determining their child’s local school. The areas identified in School Finder are subject to change. 

Enrolment ceilings

Each campus has established an enrolment ceiling, based on available permanent accommodation.

Additionally each Campus (other than NBSC Manly Campus) is required to set aside a number of places to accommodate local students arriving throughout the year, including those to be placed from Intensive English Centres. This buffer is determined on historic data. Places in the buffer are not to be offered to non-local students.

NBSC Manly Campus entry is through processes managed by the High Performing Student Unit and DoE policies and criteria and so local Year 7 students do not receive priority for enrolment.

Placement panels

Each Campus will have its own panel to discuss non-local applications. The composition of the panel is to be determined by each campus, but must include at least one staff member, other than the Campus Principal, one school community member nominated by the school's parent organisation. The panel will be chaired by the Principal who will have a casting vote.

In assessing the application of the criteria to individual cases, the panel will consider only those matters presented in the application form and not oral or other submissions. The decisions made by the placement panel must be made within the context of the agreed enrolment ceiling and the buffer retained for local students arriving later in the year. The placement panel should record all decisions and minutes of meetings are to be available on request by the Director, Public School NSW (or designated officer).

Residential Address Check

Under the Education Act 1990, principals may require proof of address to their satisfaction in order to establish a child’s entitlement to enrol in the school.

Schools that are at or nearing their local enrolment buffer will use a 100-point residential address check to determine the student’s entitlement to enrol at the school.

Criteria for College non-local enrolment applications

The Northern Beaches Secondary College policy encourages all students to enrol in their designated local campus unless a compelling reason exists for an alternate enrolment. The decision on where to enrol a student, and with what level of support, will depend on a number of factors, including a student's educational needs, the expressed desires of parents and caregivers, the capacity of the system to provide the level of support services required generally and at a particular location and the availability of support services at alternative locations.

Students residing outside the designated area for a campus may be enrolled in a manner consistent with the enrolment policy according to criteria available from the relevant Campus Principal, which are determined at each campus and agreed collectively by the College Management Team.

It is the decision of the College Management Team that commitment to learning is the most significant criteria when applications for non-local placements are considered.

The applicants need to show commitment to learning and how they would add to the culture and achievement of the campus. If accommodation and staff are available to consider non-local enrolment, other significant criteria for non-local campus enrolment (not in priority order) may be:

  • medical reasons (e.g. psychological issues; access to hospital etc.)

  • geographical proximity and access to the school

  • safety and supervision of the student before and after school

  • availability of subjects or combinations of subjects.

The panel may also consider the following compassionate circumstances (not in priority order):

  • siblings already enrolled at the school

  • access to single-sex or co-educational education

  • special interests and abilities

  • where parents work (geographical).

The Campus Principal will ensure that the established criteria are applied equitably to all applicants. Parents should be provided with an explanation of the decisions of the placement panel in writing, should they request it.

Waiting lists

Waiting lists may be established for non-local students. Parents should be advised in writing if their child is to be placed on a waiting list and the position on it. The size of the waiting list should reflect realistic expectations of potential vacancies. Waiting lists are current for one year only.


Where a parent wishes to appeal against the decision of the campus placement panel, the appeal should be made in writing to the College Principal who will seek to resolve the matter. If the matter is not resolved at the local level the Director, Public Schools NSW will consider the appeal, consult and make a determination. The purpose of the appeal is to determine whether the stated criteria have been applied fairly.

Single sex campuses

Within Northern Beaches Secondary College there are two single-sex campuses (NBSC Mackellar Girls and NBSC Balgowlah Boys) and two co-educational campuses (NBSC Cromer and NBSC Freshwater Senior), which each have a designated enrolment area. Students residing within the designated area for a single-sex campus will be able to enrol, usually at the start of a school year in the same way as students residing in area for a co-educational campus are able to enrol locally.

Selective campus

The other Northern Beaches Secondary College co-educational campus available for Year 7 entry is NBSC Manly Campus. This is a selective school with specific academic entry requirements, and so does not have a designated enrolment area. Year 7 enrolment applications for this campus are managed via the processes of the High Performing Students Unit. All enrolment applications into Years 8-11 are managed by the school via both a test and a written application directly to the campus. Applications are not generally accepted into Year 12 and further details regarding the process of application will be made available on the campus website and are updated each year.

Senior campus

The only definite way to ensure enrolment at NBSC Freshwater Senior Campus is to reside within the designated intake area. All non-local students will be considered under the non-local selection criteria, without regard to their current school enrolment. Students will have had to demonstrate their ability to work in a senior study environment based on the principles of independent learning. Students, including those who have attended another Northern Beaches Secondary College campus as well as those from other schools, may increase their chance of success by demonstrating a more adult and independent style of learning prior to their application. Academic attainment is not a specific selection criteria and applications are not generally accepted into Year 12.

Enrolment in academic extension and gifted and talented classes

Students may seek to be considered for campus academic extension classes which are offered at NBSC Cromer, Balgowlah Boys and Mackellar Girls Campuses. While in Year 6, such students are expected to sit the Academic Placement Test.

Details of the process and timing will be available on the Northern Beaches Secondary College website each year. Non-local applicants for academic extension classes at all campuses will be considered by a single selection panel chaired by the College Principal and students will be notified by the respective campus of the outcome of their application.

Each campus will have specific procedures governing any other specialised gifted and talented class placements and further information can be obtained through the respective Campus Principal or from the campus website directly.

Enrolment of students with special learning needs

Requests for enrolment in special classes or special schools are considered by a DoE placement panel. Further information can be obtained by contacting DoE Macquarie Park Office directly.

Refusal of enrolment

Campus Principals may refuse enrolment of a student on the grounds of previously documented violent behaviour if there is evidence that the student has not learned the appropriate skills to manage this behaviour. For post- compulsory school-aged students, a Campus Principal may undertake a risk assessment if it is believed that an applicant may not have the ability to work independently or socialise in the more adult environment of the senior school years and therefore would be putting them and learning at risk.

Identifying your local school and campus

Parents and carers are encouraged to use the NSW Public School Finder to assist with them with enrollments.