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Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus

Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus

Quality, Opportunity, Diversity

Telephone02 9810 0471

Enrolment Policy



Sydney Secondary College

Enrolment Policy



Sydney Secondary College was established in 2002 and consists of three sites:  Balmain Campus - Years 7–10; Leichhardt Campus Years 7–10; and Blackwattle Bay Campus Years 11–12.

The College caters for all learners with an academically selective stream, an enrichment stream (at Balmain Campus only), a comprehensive stream and a special education stream (for students with physical, mild and moderate intellectual disabilities and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder).

It is an expectation that the majority of students will enrol in Year 7 at either of the 7 – 10 campuses and progress to Years 11 and 12 at Blackwattle Bay Campus.



This document should be read in conjunction with the NSW Department of Education Enrolment Policy produced by the NSW Department of Education.

Compulsory school aged students are entitled to enrol at the local school that the student is eligible to attend if their home is within that school’s local intake area. Parents may apply to enrol their child in the school of their choice. However, acceptance is subject to the child being eligible to attend the school and the school being able to accommodate the child. 

Schools require an Authority to Enrol for each temporary resident and international student enrolment which is issued by DE International and the Temporary Resident Program.

Changes to a local intake area might result in a family with a child/children currently enrolled and in attendance at the school as local students consequently residing outside the local intake area. These families will retain the entitlement to enrol siblings at the school. This does not apply to families with a child/children currently enrolled at the school as a non-local when the intake area was changed.


Enrolment procedures for students living within the designated drawing area

Students living within the designated drawing areas for Balmain, Leichhardt or Blackwattle Bay Campuses have automatic enrolment into the respective Campus.

Parents/guardians are asked to bring a copy of the child's birth certificate to the interview, or if the child is not a permanent resident, a passport and appropriate visa. If there are any current family court orders in place, please also bring the original document.

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. However, any requests for proof of address must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Each campus will use the following 100-point residential address check to determine the student’s entitlement to enrol at the school.

Once all paperwork has been received and proof of address has been confirmed parents/guardians of students living within the designated drawing areas for Balmain, Leichhardt or Blackwattle Bay Campuses should contact the office of the respective campus to make an appointment for a pre-enrolment interview. A principal may refuse to enrol a student with documented violent behaviour when risk mitigation strategies or adjustments are not possible to manage the risk.


Section 1: 40 points each

1. Only one of (i.e. no additional points for additional documents)

1.1. Council rates notice

1.2. Lease agreement through a registered real estate agent for a period of at least 6 months or rental board bond receipt

1.3. Exchanged contract of sale with settlement to occur within the applicable school year

Section 2: 20 points each

2. Any of the following

2.1. Private rental agreement for a period of at least 6 months

2.2. Centrelink payment statement showing home address

2.3. Electoral roll statement

Section 3: 15 points each

3. Any of the following documents

3.1. Electricity or gas bill showing the service address*

3.2. Water bill showing the service address*

3.3. Telephone or internet bill showing the service address*

3.4. Drivers licence or government issued ID showing home address*

3.5. Home building or home contents insurance showing the service address

3.6. Motor vehicle registration or compulsory third party insurance policy showing home address

3.7. Statutory declaration stating the child’s residential address, how long they have lived there, and any supporting information or documentation of this.

* up to three months old


After the interview with the Campus enrolment coordinator, parents/guardians will be asked to complete and return an application to enrol in a NSW public school. Parents/guardians will be notified of the result of the application. 

Applications for enrolment are lodged with the Campus at which the parent/guardian is seeking enrolment. Enrolment forms may be accessed at any government school or online at NSW Government Schools Application to Enrol


Students not living within the designated drawing area

Non-local enrolment applications are only considered by schools that can accommodate the child below the set local enrolment buffer level. In determining whether the school can accommodate a child the principal considers:

  • the child’s age
  • the type of school
  • the resources of the school
  • the existing number of permanent classrooms and other facilities at the school.

An enrolment cap for a school is established centrally, based on available permanent accommodation. Within the enrolment cap, a number of enrolment places (the buffer) must be set aside for the enrolment of local students arriving throughout the year. Places in the local enrolment buffer are not to be offered to non-local students.


Criteria for non-local placement include:

  • siblings already enrolled at the school
  • proximity and access to the school 
  • availability of subjects or combinations of subjects
  • compassionate circumstances
  • recent change in the local intake boundaries

Each campus will establish an enrolment panel. The composition of the enrolment panel will consist of one executive staff member to chair the panel and at least one teaching staff member nominated by the principal, the college principal and one school community member nominated by campus’ P&C. 

Students enrolled in Balmain and Leichhardt Campuses have priority placement in Year 11 at Blackwattle Bay Campus. Enrolment into Year 12 will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

The school will notify parents of the result of their application. Parents may request a written explanation of the decisions of the panel.

A waiting list may be created for non-local students who are not offered enrolment. Any waiting list created will remain valid during the current intake period only. The waiting list is determined by the enrolment panel. Parents are advised in writing if their child is to be placed on a waiting list and their position on it.


Selective enrolments Years 7 – 12

Students are placed in selective high schools and opportunity classes based on academic merit. Academic merit is mainly determined by the combination of the results of the Selective High School Placement Test or the Opportunity Class Placement Test (both hereinafter referred to as ‘placement tests’) together with primary school assessments of student performance in English and mathematics. Additional evidence of academic merit may also be considered at the discretion of the selection committee.

Year 7 enrolments are offered by the Department to students who are successful at the Selective Schools Test conducted early in the final year of primary school. This test and all offers of placement are conducted external to the school by the Department's High Performing Students Unit. Years 8–12 selective enrolments are conducted by the relevant Campus and are subject to available places and the meeting of academic criteria.

Application must be made formally through the relevant Campus with as much supporting evidence as possible. Application forms are available from the Campus or Department’s High Performing Students Unit towards the end of June each year.

A placement panel, including the Campus Principal or delegate, a teacher representative and a parent representative, considers all applications before an offer is made. Demonstrated evidence of high academic achievement must be evident.

All selective students must be Australian citizens, permanent Australian residents or the child of diplomatic staff.

Waiting lists will be established where there are no places available at the time of application or where requests for enrolment exceed available places. Waiting lists are current for one year. Parents will be advised if their child is being placed on a waiting list.


Enrolment of students with disabilities

At Sydney Secondary College, there is provision for students with disabilities in specialist or mainstream settings for all 3 campuses.

Each campus of the college has a Support Unit for students with intellectual disabilities (IM or IO) or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Targeted funding, specialist teachers and advisory services to support students with disabilities enrolled in regular classes.

NB: placement in any Support Unit class is through an area panel. Enquiries may be directed through:

The Learning & Engagement Officer Special Education
Arncliffe Office
Phone 02 9582 2860



Unsuccessful non-local applicants may appeal against the decision of the enrolment panel. The appeal is made in writing to the college principal and sets out the grounds of the appeal. The purpose of the appeal is to determine whether the stated criteria have been applied equitably. The college principal considers the appeal and makes a determination. Appeals should be addressed to:

(Reviewed April 2020)