Parents camp outside this prestigious state school every year to try to secure a spot for their children. Picture: Jack Tran
Parents camp outside this prestigious state school every year to try to secure a spot for their children. Picture: Jack Tran

Parents camp for days for school place

A NUMBER of desperate parents have spent the weekend sleeping rough in an attempt to get their children on the waiting list for one of Brisbane's most prestigious schools.

More than a dozen parents were seen out the front of Ascot State School, located in an affluent part of Brisbane, gearing up to put their out-of-area children on the list this morning.

A row of tents were seen lining the gates to the Pringle Street school as more parents sat and slept in their cars.

Tents line the entrance to Ascot. Picture: Channel 9
Tents line the entrance to Ascot. Picture: Channel 9

Some parents had been in tents since as early as Friday night, as husbands and wives took turns keeping their spot.

Todayspoke to some of the waiting parents, who explained why they'd lined up.

"There's limited spaces so you've gotta do what you've gotta do to get your kids into these schools," one man said.

Another woman told the morning show she'd been in her car since Saturday morning, taking turns with her husband.

The prestigious school only accepts a small number of students from outside the catchment area meaning some parents deem it necessary to line up for more than 48 hours to avoid missing out.

But sleeping rough doesn't guarantee their children a spot. One man spent days camping last year and his child still didn't get in.

The gates open at 8am Queensland time with the school getting parents to fill out an enrolment form as soon as they enter.

Those formed are then filed in numerical order on the waiting list with parents finding out in October if their kids were successful.

Two parents who spent days camping in front of Ascot State School, hoping to get their children a place at the prestigious government high school. Picture: Channel 9
Two parents who spent days camping in front of Ascot State School, hoping to get their children a place at the prestigious government high school. Picture: Channel 9

This isn't the first year parents have resorted to camping to secure a place.

Last year, the Courier Mail spoke to a number of hopeful families who had spent the weekend waiting in line.

"We're a bit exhausted but hopeful that it will pay off," Elissa Morley from Hendra said.

"There was a bit of camaraderie on the footpath there, all the parents having a chat."

The first parent in line last year was Nicole Scarinci from Warner who had camped out since Saturday morning.

"So at 8am tomorrow, they will open the gates and we will get an enrolment form with a number on it and hope for the best," she said.

"We just spoke to the principal and she seems to think that it's not even guaranteed that we will get a spot so it's still up in the air."

President of Ascot School's P&C Sarah Comiskey said the madness was an annual occurrence, with up to 30 parents queuing one year.

Parents lining up last year in an attempt to secure a spot for their kids. Picture: Liam Kidston
Parents lining up last year in an attempt to secure a spot for their kids. Picture: Liam Kidston


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