Enrolments are accepted from Year 1 to Year 6.  (5-11 years)

Students who have an established religious connection with the Catholic Character of the school, in other words, Catholic themselves, will be given a preferential place on the list of applicants for enrolment.  Non preference or non-Catholic enrolments, is restricted to five percent of the total roll and dependent upon vacancies at the time of enrolment.  All students being considered for enrolment at St Mary's School must see our Parish Priest who solely determines the eligibility for preference/non preference of enrolment using nationally set criteria.

Enrolment Procedures

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS / CAREGIVERS SEEKING PREFERENCE of ENROLMENT at CATHOLIC SCHOOLS The following information is given to assist parents/caregivers seeking to gain preference of enrolment at a Catholic school 

  • In seeking preference of enrolment at a Catholic School you need to make a commitment to actively supporting your child in his/her faith formation and the practices of the Catholic Church. 

  • The Diocesan Preference Certificate needs to be signed by a Parish Priest or other authorized agent of the Bishop. It is normal practice to make an appointment with the Priest. 

  • A new Preference Certificate is required for each child in the family. 

  • Preference Certificates are school specific, in that the name of the school, the family intends to make an application for enrolment, must be specified on the Certificate. If you intend to apply for enrolment at a number of different Catholic schools you should have the required number of Preference Certificates and ask the Priest to sign these during the one interview. 

  • A new Preference Certificate is required for transfer to another school e.g. primary to secondary school. In some exceptional circumstances the preference status of your children could change.

  • The school keeps the Preference Certificate – not the family.  If you are applying for preference of enrolment under criteria 5.3 which reads At least one parent/guardian is a CatholiĐ, 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 baptized, it is important to recognize that one parent/guardian being Catholic is not sufficient in itself to guarantee that preference will be granted. The second part of the sentence has equal weight with the first. 

  • If you are applying for preference of enrolment under criteria 5.4: 

    • The familial adult must be a close family member who is actively involved in your child’s upbringing; a practicing Catholic and live close to you so that they can actively support your child’s faith formation and practices of the Catholic Church by taking your child to Sunday Masses and supporting other school and parish initiatives. 

    • This familial adult needs to accompany you to the meeting with the Priest when seeking preference of enrolment.

    • It is responsibility of the familial adult to provide some evidence to show they are an active member of the Catholic Church, if not personally known to the person granting preference of enrolment.

  • Priests/ Bishop’s Agents grant preference and they are the only person who may do so. Schools then decide which students they will accept for enrolment.

  • Attendance at a Catholic school by non-preference students is not grounds for seeking preference of enrolment at another Catholic school. 


Click here for Enrolment Form



New Entrants Enrolments

St Mary's Palmerston North 0 764

Parents of New Entrant children will receive a written invitation to visit the reception classroom on up to three occasions before the child starts school.  An extensive information kit will be given to the parents of all New Entrant children.  In order to give children an optimum start to school, it is strongly recommended that no New Entrant children begin school in December each year.  All our contributing kindergartens are willing to retain December five year olds until the Christmas holidays.  Parents of children turning five in December are welcome to discuss this matter with the school.