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Australia - Education and Schools


The education system in Australia constitutes different tiers of learning institutions including preschool, preparatory, primary school, secondary school, and tertiary learning institutions.

Preparatory to college lasts 13 years. It is compulsory for people below the age of 16 years to attend school. There are three main types of schools in Australia: government, private, and faith-based schools. All of them must be registered with the state or territory education department and their infrastructure and teacher registration should meet government requirements.

Australia’s education standards are world-renowned and many expats migrate to its sunny shores to study. The national government emphasizes quality, diversity, and commitment to excellence in research, teaching, and student support.

The government encourages parents to enroll their kids for 1 year in preschool before they proceed to primary school. Primary school comprises kindergarten to year 6, which include kids between 5 and 12 years old. High school includes young people between the ages of 12 to 18.

Public schools in Australia

About two thirds of the local population and a good number of children whose parents are expats attend public schools. Although the country has a national curriculum, each state is responsible for managing and implementing education in their respective areas.

Some schools require parents to pay additional fees to cover school uniforms and stationery. Expat families are required by most schools to provide proof of residence before their children can be actively enrolled in Australian learning institutions.

Private schools in Australia

Many people believe that private schools in Australia have a wider range of facilities, higher paid teachers, and better education standards than their state counterparts. Many expats prefer to take their children to private schools because many of them offer International Baccalaureate curricula. However, the prestige and reputation associated with private schools comes at a price.

Most popular private schools in Australia may have long waiting lists and some may require students to pass an exam prior to enrolment. There are various international schools for expats who would like their children to continue with their home country’s curriculum.

Faith-based schools in Australia

Although these institutions are run according to a religious order, they also place strong emphasis on academics. Most faith-based schools in Australia are Catholic-oriented. These schools see the need to instill a sense of religious beliefs and values in students. Religious practice and teachings incorporated into the curriculum vary from school to school. Students in these institutions are required to pay tuition. However, the fees of faith-based schools in Australia are lower than those of private schools.

How to Enroll

The law requires all children of compulsory school age to be enrolled in school and they must attend every day. In Western Australia, compulsory schooling starts in pre-primary though children can start their education in kindergarten.

All children below the age of 16 must attend school. Older children above the age of 16 must be enrolled in school or a training organization, be employed, or be in a combination of school, training, and employment.

You should visit your local school as soon as possible if you wish to enroll your child in a public school. To enroll your child at a school in Australia you must apply to the school itself. The school may require academic credentials from your child’s previous school and proof that you legally live in the country. You will also be required to provide information on vaccinations that have been given to the child. Education at a state school is free for expats living in Australia.

Documentation to Provide

Temporary residents can negotiate with their employers to provide school allowance or pay tuition for their kids.

There are a total of 40 weeks in a school year. In addition, four school terms make up an academic year in Australia. Holidays in between terms last 2 weeks while summer holidays last 6 weeks. Children should attend for school for 190 days each year, which adds up to 380 sessions. This applies to primary, secondary, and special schools.

Pupil free day

This is usually organized by public schools where all government school staff members are required to go for training and development. Students are not required to attend school during public holidays.

Extracurricular Activities

A wide range of extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, and creative arts are offered by all schools. Most schools take part in local leagues with other schools in their area and all children are encouraged to take part in these events.

Specialized courses and programs

These programs are focused on specific interests or talents. Enrolment into such programs is usually coordinated by the specific school sponsoring the program, which may involve sitting for an exam or auditioning.

Higher education options

The main types of postgraduate certifications offered by most higher education institutions include the following.

Graduate certificate/diploma
Requirements include six months to a year of full-time study for the graduate certificate and one to two years of full-time study for a graduate diploma.

Master’s degree
Masters’ degrees specialize in a specific field of study or area of professional practice.

Doctoral degree
This type of certification is offered to individuals who make a considerable original contribution in a specific field in the form of either new knowledge or adaptation, application, and interpretation of existing knowledge. Doctoral degrees may take three to four years to complete. There are two types of doctoral degrees: A research doctorate (PhD) involves supervised research resulting in the completion of a thesis, and requires a master’s degree by research or a bachelor degree. A professional doctorate combines coursework and research and is suitable for professionals who want to advance their knowledge in their field without the research commitment of a PhD. Entry requirements include a master’s degree by research or a bachelor’s degree. Considerable professional experience is required either before or during the course.

Learning institutions in Australia have varying entry requirements. Therefore, it is important to contact individual learning institutions to confirm entry requirements. In addition, starting dates vary depending on the course. Higher education courses usually run from late February to mid-November.


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