Families say school zoning is putting some Heathcote families at an "unfair advantage", as historic council boundaries mean the town is split in half.
Heathcote families outside the zone for Bendigo South East want their children to have the right to attend high school in Bendigo. Most want to attend Bendigo South East Secondary College.
To Heathcote's west students are zoned for Bendigo South East Secondary College, to its east they are zoned to Seymour Secondary College.
The split is based on historic council boundaries which define whether schools are deemed to be in metropolitan or regional areas.
In metropolitan areas, such as Bendigo, a family's school zone is determined by the distance from their front door to a school. In regional areas, zoning is based on the closest practicable route.
Within Heathcote both of these systems are used, which means the secondary school zoning line runs through the centre of town.
Colleen Close lives in the zone for Seymour College, but has a daughter in Year Eight at BSE.
She is worried her second daughter will not be able to attend BSE in 2020.
Ms Close said she believed the tight-knit community at Heathcote's two primary schools meant the town should not be split up.
"These kids have come from tiny little schools and they're going to be sent off to a new school... they're going to be separated from their lifelong friends," she said.
"There could be instances where they're going across and they might not be going with any [friends] at all."
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Ms Close said it did not make sense for some Heathcote residents, many of whom work in Bendigo, to have to send their children to school in Seymour.
She said as Heathcote families paid their rates to the City of Greater Bendigo, they should be entitled to send their children to schools which access the facilities for which the rates pay.
Victorian families are free to apply for placement at any school, but popular schools, such as BSE are often forced to turn down applications from out of their zone. Once it is full, a school cannot accept enrolments from outside its neighbourhood.
Heathcote families zoned for Seymour College can apply to send their children to other schools within Bendigo.
Principal of Bendigo South East Secondary College Glen Donald said he had not made any decision on next year's placements, but the school was over capacity.
Mr Donald said for Year 7 placements he first had to fit in all in-zone enrolments, then if he had capacity above that he would look at the second category of applications, from those with siblings already enrolled.
Heathcote resident Michelle Scoble has two daughters already studying at BSE, but fears her 12 year old daughter will not be able to join them in 2020.
She said she would consider changing her address to her mother's in Bendigo to get her third daughter accepted into BSE as she did not want her children separated.
Ms Scoble said she would not be comfortable sending her third daughter to a different school, and did not want to disrupt the learning of the two children already enrolled by changing their school.
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"We're in Bendigo council, I don't understand why we're getting sent to a different area, that we don't pay rates in, if we can't have the choice of schools for our children," Ms Scoble said.
"The majority of children in Heathcote are actually going to Bendigo, it's kind of an unfair advantage for the rest of the children to get sent to a complete different high school.
"We've only got six high school students in our school, and the majority of those are going to Bendigo High School, whereas the rest are being told they're going to Seymour."
Ms Scoble said she understood that some Bendigo schools were at capacity. She said possibly a high school should be built in Heathcote to ease the burden on Bendigo and surrounds.
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