THEY are the invisible lines that divide neighbours and split communities.
With more schools reaching capacity compared with last year, a review of school-zone boundaries is set to be released in the coming school holidays.
More schools are having to use enrolment management plans as those approaching 80 per cent capacity are required to restrict enrolments from out-of-catchment students.
The number of schools using the plans rose from 340 in August last year to almost 420 at the start of this month. And strict catchment zones have driven families to move into specific areas to ensure their child gets into a particular public school.
An Education Department spokesman said that from term three this year, the maps would show, for the first time, proposed catchments for schools opening in 2016.
Mother of two Amber Moratti knows the pressure of getting into a catchment for a public school with a good reputation, having moved her family into the zone for Cavendish Road State High School in Brisbane’s inner south.
Her 12-year-old son, Tanner, started high school this year, and with her daughter, Eden, 9, getting closer to Year 7, Ms Moratti decided to make the move. They relocated from Eight Mile Plains on the southside into the zone the week before school started.
“We had an interview three days before school started and were told we could get in straight away because we were in the catchment,” she said.
“Our previous catchment zone was Kuraby High, which wasn’t ideal. My son had been bullied in primary school by his peers so it was a safety issue for me.”
Catchment zones are changed to take into account new housing developments and changes in road networks. They are created by the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office using special mapping software.
Ms Moratti said moving into specific zones was extremely common.
“One of my friends is already looking at buying an investment property in the Brisbane State High catchment zone, and her daughter is only starting prep next year,” she said. “You have got to be so prepared now.”
She said the family had been close to the catchment zone with her business but missed out by two metres.
“When we said we were really close, they said, ‘It’s a catchment zone, not a blurred line’.”
The Education Department spokesman said catchment zones were typically defined by the equal distance between state schools.