Sign in to join the discussion or ask one of our experts another question.

Choosing a suburb in Melbourne based on school zones?

Kirsty Tulloch's picture
By Kirsty Tulloch - Posted on
10 January 2012
How do I choose a suburb of Melbourne to look at living based on good school zone catchment areas? My kids are 3,5 and 6yrs old at present. CAn anyone help ??I just do not know where to start. 

Anonymous's picture

Hi Kirsty,

It really depends on if you are sending your child to private school or gov't? All the "public" schools are pretty much the same, they all have the same curriculum. The difference is really between public vs. private. Private schools run around $20,000 a year, so we send ours to public, and I find it is great. My kids are 5 & 7, and I have no complaints. I hope to have been of some help, good luck!


Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)
AlisonRipleyCubitt's picture
Last seen: 4 years 37 weeks ago
Joined: 27/08/2010

Living in:
Melbourne, Australia

United Kingdom

Alison's Website
Dear Kirsty,
A great place to start would be in the South East in the Bayside area.  Brighton is the most expensive suburb and if your budget doesn't run to renting or buying a house there, look at the immediate surrounding neighbourhoods.  Brighton East, Sandringham and then further out to Beaumaris.  Beaumaris doesn't have a train service but it's a quick run to Brighton station.  
The eastern suburbs of Melbourne have highly regarded schools too.  Again if you can't afford Toorak or South Yarra, then look at the outer eastern suburbs such as Balwyn.
Out in the west a number of new primary schools have been built as this area of Melbourne has been most recently developed with new housing developments.  You get much more for your money out here than you do in the established areas and house prices to rent or buy are the cheapest in Melbourne.   
Ultimately though your choice of suburb has to take into account the distance to and from work.  Melbourne's vast sprawl means that you would, ideally, want to live and work on the same side of the city.  Getting across from one side to the other at rush hour is a time-consuming business.  Good luck with your search.

Alison Ripley Cubitt
Melbourne Expat Expert 
Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)
Anonymous's picture

I've got a similar problem in that I'm about to start working in Abbotsford and I'm wondering where best to focus my house search for the kid's primary schools. Ideally I don't want more than a 30-40min commute and access to public transport. Any ideas welcome.

Your rating: None
Anonymous's picture

My wife and kids have recently moved to Melbourne and are looking for schools for our kids. We are living in Northcote and have been looking at our different options. I'm not sure about school uniforms either. Can you purchase them through the school itself or do you purchase them online? I found an Australian site called Any advice or help?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)
Anonymous's picture

You can use this site to examine schools at a high level within a geographic area.
When selecting schools, look at balance of genders, test results, whether religion is taught, what other languages are taught, homework policy, after school care, etc. Look for evidence of a strong parents association as this usually leads to more funds available and better quality education.
The State Govt allows each public school to choose whether uniforms are required, and generally uniforms are used. Always contact the school first before buying anything as there is a blend of school-run shops, supplier-run shops and general uniform retailers in Melb schools.
Choose a suburb close to work, and send the kids to the local school. You'll make more friends and meet more neighbours if they attend the local school.
Visit at least two schools when the students and parents are there (drop off or pick up time) and observe. Do the teachers talk to the kids nicely? Do the kids seem happy? Does the Principal know student's names? You'll soon know which school is best for your child.

Your rating: None
Anonymous's picture

Iam planning to move in melbourne by mid of July, can anyone tell me if my 5yrs old will get the admission in middle of the terms.

Your rating: None
Anonymous's picture

Children can join school anytime during the year, subject to the school having space for them.

Your rating: None
merlzstar's picture
Last seen: 10 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 14/07/2016

I am planning to move in Melbourne by mid of March 2017, my child will be 4 years 10 months. Will the schools in Melbourne provide him admissionif he is 1 month less than 5 year old.
Also what if I move by September 2017, do I have to wait for his admision from Jan 2018 since the schools in Melbourne have academic year from Jan to Dec?
When do I need to apply for admission in locals schools if I need my child to start school by Jan 2018 (but he will be then 5 years 7 months for KG)?

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)
Meagan's picture
Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 07/07/2016

Hi merlzstar,

You can take a look at the Expat Arrivals Education and Schools in Melbourne page for some basic info, but I think you would need answers directly from locals or expats because you're looking for quite specific information. People browsing the forum are unlikely to see your question here so far back in the history of the forum (I only saw it myself because I'm a forum admin), so I would suggest posting your question again as a new topic.

Best of luck,
Your rating: None
Finders Keepers Property Locators-Melbourne Rental Advocate's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2013

HI Merlzstar, The enrolment age for kindergarten is 4 years old so you should be able to enrol your child in Victoria (Melbourne). Your child can start schooling any time during the school year as long as there is a spot available. If you are to enrol your child in Victoria, make sure you have your child's vaccination history paperwork with you. The Victorian Education website can answer most of your questions. Google the following search terms: "Education Vic Gov" and look for "Kindergarten" and "Parents"
Cheers, Winneth - Finders Keepers Melbourne Rental Property Locators

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Post new comment

Please only respond to the original question. If you have a new question, click here
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Comment Note

If you are not logged in, your comment will first be moderated before showing up on the page. Thanks for being patient. Please don't resubmit your comment when you don't see it appear immediately.

If you browser seems to hang when submitting a comment, please click here and reload the main Q and A Forum Page.

Read more posts about Australia

Search Expat Arrivals

Become our local expat expert for your area!

Expat Arrivals is looking for contributors to make this the ultimate guide for international expats.

If you are an established expat who could make time to write useful information for expats in your city and answering forum questions from new and prospective expats, please contact us.

As our local expert you can have your profile showing on each page you publish, and will have an option to promote your website or blog.

Got a question about your new country?

Login with your Facebook account (Recommended)
, after login or registration your account will be connected.