By Terri Begley and Jessica Hinchliffe.
It is common to see people camping out overnight for concert tickets, new gadgets or the Boxing Day sales, but what about to get your child into a certain school?
Parents set up camp outside Ascot State School this week in order to guarantee a spot for their child at the primary school in Brisbane’s north-east.
Ascot is a well established suburb where the median price of a three-bedroom house is over $1 million.
Families that reside in the catchment area are guaranteed enrolment for their children, but others must vie for the remaining places.
Some desperate parents slept on the footpath, in tents or in swags for more than three nights waiting to submit their enrolment forms.
The gathering was orderly, with parents allocating themselves numbers so they knew their order in line.
One of the fathers, Chris — also known as “number four” — said camping out was a necessity to ensure his child’s enrolment.
“It is what it is, it’s what you do for your children. You put your kids first all the time,” he said.
“We have taken photos to show them what we had to do in years to come.”
Chris said he did not mind “roughing it” for a few days to ensure his children would get a solid start at life at a good school.
“The swag came out of retirement to sleep in, but the hot weather has caused many of us to stir,” he said.
“Many of the wives rotated a shift yesterday but the graveyard shifts seems to go to the fathers.
“It’s not comfortable but it’s become pretty social.”
Another father, Julian — or “number 12” — said Ascot State School was at the top of their most wanted list.