Deciding on a School for your Child

St Francis de Sales School acknowledges that choosing a school is an important decision for parents to make. All schools are required to teach programmes that meet The New Zealand Curriculum so often the decision comes down to other factors such as

  • best fit for the child
  • the Special Character of the school (values, uniform
  • the feel or tone of the school
  • previous family connection with the school
  • extra-curricular activities
  • the school's ERO report
  • community perceptions of a school
  • continuation onto intermediate years (years 7&8)

We support parents in the process of investigating our school for their children through offering interviews with the Principal and the Team Leader of the junior syndicate. We also suggest that prospective parents firstly agree about what sort of schooling they are seeking, talk with community members, read the school ERO report, visit the school and talk with staff at their preschool or kindergarten. We do not allow classroom observations as part of this process as they are disruptive to the class learning programme and risk breaching the privacy of the students.

Once you and your whanau have made your decision and wish to enrol, follow the steps on how to enrol here. We look forward to welcoming you as part of the St Francis de Sales School community.

The process for determining preference and non-preference enrolments

As per the 2020 Education & Training Act, only 5% of our student roll can be non-preference where space allows. The remaining 95% must be preference or Catholic students. There is sometimes a waiting list for non-preference places at Saint Francis de Sales School. Please refer to the second page of the Criteria of Preference to check if your child would be applying for a Preference or Non-Preference place.


Preference student enrolments

State integrated schools select preference students on the following grounds.

  • The bishop's agent for determining preference are the priests or lay pastoral leaders of The Catholic Parish of Wellington South.
  • The eligibility criteria for preference are as follows:

The criteria to be used by Proprietors, and their authorised agents, when determining whether or not the parents of a child have established such a particular or general religious connection with the Catholic Special Character are:

5.1 The child has been baptised or is being prepared for baptism in the Catholic Church.

5.2 The child's parents/guardians have already allowed one or more of its siblings to be baptised in the Catholic faith.

5.3 At least one parent/guardian is a Catholic, and although their child has not yet been baptised, the child's participation in the life of the school could lead to the parents having the child baptised.

5.4 With the agreement of the child's parent/legal guardian, a significant familial adult such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle who is actively involved in the child's upbringing undertakes to support the child's formation in the faith and practices of the Catholic Church.

5.5. One or both of a child's non-Catholic parents/guardians is preparing to become Catholic.

Priorities for Preference Enrolments

Applications for preference enrolment will be processed in the following order of priority:

Priority 1

Preference siblings of present students.

Priority 2

Preference students from the parish community of Wellington South Parish and/or living within the parish area.

Priority 3

Preference students transferring from other parts of New Zealand and overseas.

Priority 4

Preference siblings of past students.

Priority 5

Preference students who are the children of employees of the school.

Priority 6

Preference students from state primary schools.

Priority 7

All other preference students.

Priority 8

Non-preference students will be enrolled only if enrolment places remain after all preference applicants have been enrolled. The maximum number of places available for non-preference students will be governed by the maximum allowable under the school's Integration Agreement.

Non-Preference Students

State integrated schools have places for non-preference students.

  • This school has a maximum of up to 16 non-preference places.
  • There are currently no non-preference places likely to be available in this year or next year.
  • When the school roll reaches 85% of its maximum, non-preference enrolment will be suspended, and this will continue as long as the school roll stays at or above this level.
  • The applicants accept that they will be attending a school of special character and that their place in the school is conditional on their participation in the programme.
  • The applicants accept that they will be required to pay attendance dues as set by the Proprietor and which are compulsory.

Non-Preference criteria that apply to this school.

  • The siblings of non-preference students already in the school.
  • Siblings of former non-preference students.
  • The children of staff or Board members who seek to enrol their children.
  • Non-preference students coming from another integrated school with the same special character.

The selection processes described above will be the basis for students applying to enrol either at the beginning of or during the school year


  • Applicants seeking priority status on the basis of enrolment at a particular primary school may be required to provide proof of enrolment at that school.
  • Applicants seeking priority status on the basis of a sibling relationship may be required to produce proof of that relationship.

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