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A Guide to Australian Schooling System

A Guide to Australian Schooling System

The Australian school system is regarded as one of the world’s best system. Moreover, Australian teachers are well qualified and highly regarded on the international level.

The Australian education system aspires to give all students, regardless of gender, race or religion, the knowledge and skills they need to excel in the rapidly changing world. Schools in Australia give confidence parental participation and actively help newcomers settle in their new lives.


The Australian education system is generally divided into five main areas:

·    Preschool
·    Primary school
·    Secondary school
·    University
·    Career and vocational training


Preschool normally stands for the education that is provided to children in the year prior to their first year of full-time primary school.

Preschool is mainly regular, and operates only during school terms for children from 3 years old till school starting age.


Primary school is for ages 6 to 11 and 12.

Secondary school is for the children of ages 12 to 16 years. Year 11 and 12 are the senior secondary levels that must be completed for university entrance.

Schooling is essential for students in most states and regions until the age of 15. Although students are able to leave at that time, most students stay at school until they complete their ten-year qualification.


There are 39 universities in Australia ranging in size from around 3,000 students to 50,000 students. The majority of universities are government run in Australia. Australian universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in traditional and modern subjects.

University courses begin early in March and finish in late November. The year is divided into two semesters with some universities offering mid-year entry at the beginning of the second semester. A few universities have a trimester system as well.


The Australian vocational education and career training offers a range of qualifications that are recognized in almost all organization and vocational institutions. Courses are developed in consultation with industry organizations and employers.


The Australian school year starts in January and ends in December. This year is made up of two six-month semesters each with two terms. Courses are prearranged into six or three month units.


Children can be educated at either public or private schools throughout Australia. About 30% of school age children attend private schools, which charge tuition fees, and in many cases are run by religious organizations.

Many private schools provide boarding accommodation to the children and usually provide hostels for boys and girls separately. Although the majority of these schools charge low fees there is still a significant proportion with fees in excess of AUS$10,000 per year for day students and AUS$20,000 for boarders.

However, education at public schools is free in most states, although most schools have a small voluntary annual fee to cover extra activities.

Parents of children at public schools may also have to purchase such items as books and uniforms and pay for outings and camps etc. Most public schools are coeducational, with girls and boys encouraged to participate equally in class.


To enroll children in a school people have to contact the school by telephone or in person. Applicants will need to take their:

·    Visa or entry documents,
·    Proof of date of birth
·    And any papers including school reports relating to their previous education.
·    Applicants may also need to show immunization documents.

If a family is planning to send their children to a public school, their choice will be limited by where they choose to live, particularly at primary school age.

The Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs website has links to the state and territory government education department sites, which in turn will enable you to access websites of individual schools in the area where you aim to live.

On the other hand, If a family is planning on sending their children to a private school a good place to start researching is the website of the Association of Independent Schools in the state or territory in which they will be living.


1.    The Australian system of education and teaching is basically similar to that of UK, although there are some differences that are listed as follows:

2.    The Australian education system is based on a syllabus that all schools stick to. This framework is similar to the national syllabus in the UK.

3.    However, instead of the UK’s strict, content dominated and assessment based national curriculum, Australian schools can focus on developing children’s learning and thinking skills.

4.    Teachers in Australia are given the opportunity to develop integrated courses that tailor content to the needs of individuals and their communities.

5.    Teachers in Australia are not required, as is the case in the UK, to adopt a nationally imposed and unvarying strategy, which lays down both what is taught and how it is taught.

6.    In Australia, public examinations are confined to the last two years of schooling whereas in the UK children are formally examined almost every year of their educational lives.

7.    Information and communications technology are better facilitated in Australian schools.

8.    Australian schools have benefited from a massive state investment in computers. Many schools have a ratio of one networked and Internet enabled PC to every three children, that’s three times better than even the best equipped UK state school.

9.    Living expenses and tuition costs in Australia are considerably less expensive than in the UK. On the other hand study and living expenses in UK are more expensive compared to Australia.

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