New shared school enrolment zones will be created in Canberra's inner north to help schools cope with a surge in student numbers.
Families who live in the priority enrolment areas for Majura and North Ainslie primary schools will be able to apply for Ainslie Primary School when applications open on April 27.
The new shared zone would be a one-way optional arrangement, meaning people living in the Ainslie Primary School area would have to make an out-of-area application to enroll at Majura or North Ainslie Primary Schools.
An Education Directorate spokeswoman said families would still be guaranteed a place at their local school.
"This arrangement will support enrolments at Ainslie Primary School and support other inner north primary schools experiencing high levels of growth," the spokeswoman said.
A new shared zone will be created for Gungahlin and Dickson colleges which will include new suburbs Throsby and Kenny.
While the offer may be enticing for parents who want a school that is en route to work, others have made a choice to live near a particular school.
Brooke Anderson was keen to enrol her four-year-old son at North Ainslie Primary School because of the International Baccalaureate program, environmental ethos and safer streets.
"We literally looked at the school zone map and went ... we can't buy on that side of that road because we're going to North Ainslie," Ms Anderson said.
Urban infill is putting pressure on public schools across the inner north. In the December quarter of 2020, 21 apartment and townhouse projects were under construction, increasing the number of dwellings by 2500. A further 28 projects are in various stages of planning, representing 5000 extra dwellings.
North Ainslie Parents and Citizens Association president Maree Wright said the school was already at capacity, even with four transportable classrooms installed on the oval, and a permanent expansion or new school would likely be needed.
"I realise we're having a population boom right now. And ... there are schools on the other side of town that are almost empty," Ms Wright said.
"But I don't imagine in the next 50 years that that primary school enrolments in the inner north will drop very much."
Ms Anderson said building multi-storey schools could be the best way to boost school capacities.
"It's not always the most easy thing or the most attractive thing but it's the most cost-effective and space-saving thing to do and we're all infilling, which is great for the environment."
Modelling from the directorate suggests enrolments at North Ainslie will climb from 651 students this year to 742 in 2030.
Majura Primary School in Watson is expected to see enrolments surge from 710 this year to 918 in 2030, according to the upper enrolment forecast.
Ainslie School is expected to increase from 370 students to 399 in the same time period.
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