Published on 30 November 2020
What a year 2020 has been, the final school term is edging towards the end. This years students have had a rough start, however all ages have shown how resilient and courageous they are in confronting challenges. It has been a particularly bumpy start for our new school starters and our year six students about to head into high school. COVID-19 has thrown us all for a loop and the uncertainty of what this may look like for 2021 has meant that it is difficult to make plans in advance.
This year schools in the Camden Local Government Area have seen a drop in Kindergarten enrolment for 2021, but an increase in home-schooling enrolment across NSW. This could be a reflection of many factors; however we may assume that COVID-19 may be an influence of this trend. It can be difficult to know, especially in the event of COVID-19, whether you might be sending your child to school or holding them back for another year. The restrictions of unenrolled children and parents in schools has meant that schools cannot hold their transition to school programs and orientations in the same manner as usual.
Parents may also be holding back on enrolling their child in the case of unforeseen circumstances with COVID-19. However, there are some factors to consider regarding enrolment before the start of next year’s term.
- In NSW, by law, children need to be enrolled in school by the time they turn 6. If your child turns 5 on or before July 31 in that year, they may start school at the beginning of that school year.
- Enrolling into home-schooling is a 12-week application process
- Enrolling now, before next year begins means your child may still have the chance to experience orientation
- By enrolling before the new year, the school can ensure they are organised and resourced for the correct amount of students
- If you know which school your child will be attending, but technically you haven’t moved in area yet, call the school and let them know regardless
If you’re not sure which school you fall into by area, check out the NSW Department of Education ‘school finder’ page. This will tell you the school your child should be attending and also give you details about each school.
Another thing to consider, 'when is the best time to enrol your child for 2022?'
- If you are considering an Independent private school or perhaps a Catholic school, it is best to enquire as soon as possible. The spots are highly sought after and competitive, you need to consider enrolling as early as possible as cut off times end roughly in March 2021
- If you are considering enrolling your child into a public school that is deemed ‘out of area’ you need to make an application from term two but before end of August 2021.
- If your child with a disability requires additional learning and support needs it is recommended to enrol in term two of 2021 (the year before starting school).
- If your child with a disability needs wheelchair access or if there is a potential for other significant changes to the school environment that may be required. It is recommended to notify your selected public school in term two, at least two years before starting school, in this case, this year.
- Finally, if you are enrolling your child into your local ‘in area’ public school, applying between April and August 2021 is ideal, this will ensure your child won’t miss any important transition or orientation programs that are held in term four of 2021. Some schools may hold programs throughout the year, so enquiring as early as possible is best to ensuring your child doesn't miss out.
- However, remember, whatever your circumstance, your local public school has to accept your child if they turn up on the first day. Although this is not an ideal situation for a variety of reasons.
For more information about transitioning to school, visit our Camden Kids page. To find a school readiness group, keep an eye on our activities and events pages and to watch a video about important transition items to consider, check out the one below by KidsMatter Australia.