Joan Collins
THE school enrolment office in Palma will open its doors during the last week of August, almost certainly from Monday August 28, to attend to those people who, for various reasons, have either not got their children into school yet or who want to change their children's school. During this first week, the office will give out appointments to those who come to the office, as they were doing at the headquarters of the Balearic Ministry of Education before it closed in July, where there was one person dedicated to giving out appointments for September to the parents who came although, at that time, there were not many, this extraordinary service was seeing an average of three to four people a day. According to the head of school enrolment, Sebastian Barcelo, from September 5 or 6 they will start to give out infant and primary school places which are still free and from the 12th or 13th they will do the same with secondary school places. Barcelo estimates that between 15 and 20 percent of the total places are free at this time of the year. In the case of 3 year olds the figure is similar, which means that there are 2'400 places still to be filled. As for the number of students asking for places from this September the head of enrolment said that, although it is difficult to put a definite figure on it as every week there are new people arriving on the islands, it is estimated that there will be some 2'000 in Palma, of all ages, of which 50 percent will be new arrivals on the islands. The rest will belong to families who do not want to accept the place assigned to their children in June, and want to see if they can get a place in a school which is more to their liking. There are also families who have moved during the Summer, usually for work purposes, and need to change their children's school to one nearer their current home. The school enrolment office, in the Calle Ruiz de Alda in Palma, will close its doors finally once it has finished this extraordinary campaign of giving out school places, as the Ministry has a new office almost ready. This office is situated at number 14 in the Calle Salva. Speaking about this office, Barcelo explained that the preparation of the new office was finished and it would open once the new school year had started so that families could get to know it before next year's enrolment process began. The new office has more staff, a better environment and more technology and longer opening hours to better serve the demand during the days of the school enrolment campaign. The Ministry has acknowledged on several occasions that the existing Palma office did not have the resources to deal with the amount of people who, during the height of the enrolment process, come to ask for information. The new office is situated in an office given to the Balearic Ministry of Education by the Balearic Ministry for the President's Office and has five floors dedicated to the school enrolment process.


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