General Enrolments

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When do I start school?

Most children start school at 5 although in New Zealand you do not legally have to start school until you are 6.

When should I be enrolled at school?

New Entrants (5-6yrs) - For school planning it is easiest (and best for your child) if you enrol at least one year before starting school although you do not have to pre enrol at all.


To enrol at Barton Rural School, please visit the school and to talk to the Principal - Matt Gollins ( or email the office ( to be sent a copy of our online enrolment form.

Enrolment Zone

The school has an enrolment zone to manage the roll. Barton Rural School has had an enrolment zone since 2013. Only children living within this zone can now enrol at the school - we are not accepting any further out of zone enrolments for the 2024 school year. Check to see if you are in our zone by visiting this link and entering your address - Barton Rural School Enrolment Zone



What if I live out of the zone and my children already attend the school, but we have a sibling due to start in the new school year?

There is a very defined process for the school to follow in these circumstances. These steps are mandated by the Ministry of Education and we are required to follow these fully.

In these circumstances the Barton Rural School Board of Trustees has to determine how many “out of zone” places are available in the school for the next current period. This announcement is made publicly in the Timaru Courier each year near the end of Term 3.

The next step is that once all the applications for placements arrive (and there will be a definite cut off date outlined in the notice in the Timaru Courier), if the number of applications exceeds the number of placements on offer, then a priority list determines who is offered a place.

What is the priority list?

Applications for enrolment will be processed in the following order of priority (again these are determined by the Ministry of Education, not the school):

  1. Students accepted for enrolment in a special programme run by the school (of which we do not have).

  2. Brothers and sisters of current students.

  3. Brothers and sisters of former students.

  4. Children of former students.

  5. Children of Board employees and board members.

  6. All other students.

If there are more applicants in the second, third, fourth or fifth priority groups than there are places available, Selection within the priority group will be by ballot conducted in accordance with instructions by the Secretary. Under Section 11G (1) on the Education Act 1989. Parents will be informed of the date of any ballot by notice in a daily or community newspaper circulating in the area served by the school.

Applicants seeking second or third priority status may be required to give proof of a sibling relationship.




Before you have you first day at school make sure you read our Transition to school page click here:


Keen to find out more?