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Northcote has a student population of about 1500 students. An enrolment ceiling was placed on the school in 2001, with the main change since then being a steady 1% per annum growth in the proportion of girls in the school. At Year 7 level, the school generally enrols about 250 students each year (910 classes). About 85% of students entering the school at Year 7 live in areas that are closest to the school or have a sibling here already. This includes parts of the suburbs of Northcote, Thornbury, East Brunswick, North Fitzroy, Fairfield and Preston. Another 15% live in nearby areas and gain access through curriculum claims.
Northcote's student demographic closely reflects the surrounding area in almost every way. Enrolment levels from surrounding primary schools are very strong; in several primary schools half to three quarters of families choose to send children to Northcote. However, there is always strong interest in Northcote from other suburbs. In 2010, Grade 6 Students applied for enrolment in Year 7 at Northcote from more than 30 different primary schools. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to live locally to apply for Northcote, but if you don’t, you need to apply under one of the categories for enrolment.
Two surveys of parents with children at Northcote found that in 2002 and 2009 a large proportion worked in health services, education, office and managerial positions, media/arts and food services. Steady proportions were self employed, worked in skilled trades, the IT industry and emergency services. The area of significant change in the two surveys was a 50% decline in a parent nominating home duties as their occupation.
Some of the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne have undergone significant demographic changes over the last 15 years. Of course this change is also reflected in our school. To see demographically comparable schools, parents should look at the entry for Northcote High School on the Federal Government My School Website.
In 2011, in terms of demographics, the closest comparable Victorian government secondary schools to Northcote were Mentone Girls Secondary College and Eltham High School.