Checklist for moving schools

checklist for moving schools. School stationery.

Moving schools can be overwhelming for families.

Many families are moving house and changing extracurricular activities whilst moving schools. It is easy to miss things in the chaos of moving.

Ensure you have everything covered using our checklist for moving schools below.

Checklist for moving schools

1. Get enrolled correctly

During the process of choosing a school, make sure to check the enrolment dates of potential schools.

Many schools have application deadlines marking the cut-off date to apply for the school.

Due to waitlists, applying to private and independent schools can be quite competitive.

When should I complete an application to enrol my child into a new school?

When you need to apply will vary from school to school, depending on the number of students let in each year.

Some independent schools will allow you to apply a year or months in advance. Some schools with a more competitive waitlist will require parents to apply from birth.

Contact the school to ask about the appropriate time to begin the application for your child.

A general guideline for independent secondary schools would be to enquire in Years 3-5 of primary school.

For independent primary schools, you may need to begin the application process a few years in advance. Some schools have a large waitlist that requires parents to apply from birth.

Fees for getting enrolled

When moving schools, it is important for parents to stay on top of all fees associated with enrolling.

Many schools are unable to place students on the waiting list without the formal application and application fee.

An unpaid enrolment fee may result in your child not moving schools on time.

Application Fees vs Enrolment Fees

An application fee is a small fee that may be charged upon submitting an application.

The school’s application fee is usually sent with the application and non-refundable.

An enrolment fee is a larger fee that is paid after being accepted into the school. The enrolment fee is usually also non-refundable.

The enrolment fee covers all the administrative costs associated with registering your child at school.

Application and enrolment fees often vary for Australian and Overseas students.

Some schools may also have an ‘entrance fee’ which is a larger fee paid up to 2 years prior to commencement.

2. Attending school events


Many independent schools have tours available for parents choosing a school.

Going on a tour or taking a look around the school is a great way to understand the culture at your child’s potential new school. Visiting the school whilst students are still there allows you to guage whether the classes and extracurricular activities are a good fit for your child.

checklist for choosing a school. parents at school.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova:

For example, your child might be focused on academic achievement, boarding school, social justice initiatives, art programs, sports facilities or music opportunities.

Make sure you have prepared relevant questions about your child’s priorities. See here for more questions to ask during a school visit.

Open days

Most schools have open days available for prospective parents to visit the school.

This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the school including values and opportunities for your child.

Before moving schools it is a great idea to attend an open day with your child to familiarise them with the school and new environment.

Visit our school profiles or the school’s website to find more open day information.

3. Sort out transport arrangements

An important part of moving schools is to make sure you have appropriate transport in place for your child.

You may wish to check:

  • Whether the school offers a private coach or bus.

Many schools have coaches for specific areas, so make sure your new school caters to where you live.

  • Whether there is a way to travel to and from school via public transport.

If you are unable to pick up or drop off your child at school, ensure there are appropriate public transport measures in place.

There may be a school bus or public bus, however it is worthwhile to check that your child will not have to change multiple buses, trains or walk too far home.

  • Check pick-up and drop-off zones

Check whether your child’s new school has pick-up and drop-off zones, sometimes known as ‘kiss and drop’.

If this is the arrangement for the new school, grab the details around the pick-up and drop-off zone prior to using it to ensure you are adhering to all school and road rules.

Tip: Practice or guide your child through the process prior to their first day of school.

See our tips to help your child cope with moving schools.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.


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