21 Jan 2013

Family rule could spell end to enrolment ballot

2:44 pm on 21 January 2013

Ballots for out-of-zone places at popular schools may become a thing of the past because children of former students are snapping them up.

Principals say the competition got stiffer two years ago with a law change that added the families of former students to the group who get first call on out-of-zone places at over-subscribed schools.

Auckland Grammar School and Wellington College say the sons of old boys are taking places that would otherwise be allocated through a ballot.

At both schools they will account for between 20 and 30 of Year 9 enrolments this year, while balloted places have been reduced to about a dozen.

The colleges say it is good that families can continue their association with the schools.

Auckland Grammar School headmaster Tim O'Connor expects that, eventually, no out-of-zone places will be allocated by ballot to boys whose fathers did not attend his school.