Local MPs have been inundated with calls from furious parents after changes to school zones were revealed this week.
The boundaries of some of the region's primary and secondary school enrolment zones have changed in response to growth across the city and school capacity.
Parents learned of the changes with the launch of the state government's Find My School website.
The biggest shock came for those looking around the city's secondary schools, with the zones for Ballarat High and Phoenix P-12 Community College shrinking and Mount Rowan Secondary College's zone expanding. Some primary school boundaries were also amended.
About 20 streets in the southern end of Miners Rest are now zoned to Yuille Park P-8 Community College, across the Western Freeway.
"How can your primary school zone change from Miners Rest Primary School to Yuille Park Primary school in a different suburb when you live in Miners Rest," tweeted Miners Rest resident Glenn Bell. "School parents are in uproar and rightly so."
Others were concerned their children would be attending different schools if sibling enrolments were not accepted.
If a school is not at capacity it is up to the school's discretion whether it accepts enrolments, including siblings, who live outside the school's zoned neighbourhood area.
Ripon MP Louise Staley said many Miners Rest parents had contacted her office about the rezoning of a large chunk of their town from Ballarat High School to Mount Rowan Secondary College, but the Yuille Park conundrum had caught everyone by surprise.
"We knew there were going to be changes to the Ballarat High zone because the school is full and there had to be change because of all the new students to come through from Lucas," Ms Staley said.
"My understanding was that Miners Rest parents knew that they were going to be changed, however it clearly hasn't been communicated at all to parents."
But splitting part of Miners Rest to Yuille Park for primary school came as a shock. Yuille Park P-8 Community College is 2km further away from the affected homes than Miners Rest Primary - and every morning trip will involve travelling along busy Learmonth Rd toward Ballarat in peak traffic conditions.
"What we are now seeing is the change to split Miners Rest for primary school. I was not aware of it and it's ridiculous that it's not been flagged to anyone."
RELATED STORY:Ballarat school zones change in response to growth
But the education department insisted the current zones have been in place since 2018, saying confusion existed because local maps were being used rather than official department versions.
"There have been no changes to the state-wide official zone for Ballarat schools for the 2020 school year - it's this sort of confusion that shows why our new website is so important," a spokesperson said.
"For decades parents haven't had easy access to enrolment zones, causing unnecessary stress for thousands of families and this website fixes that."
"Schools have always had the choice to accommodate children living outside a school's zone if there is enough space - this will not change."
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