Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools),
followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (universities or TAFE Colleges).
There are two broad categories of schools in Australia: public schools (also known as 'Government' or 'State' schools
because they are run by state or territory governments) and private schools including independent schools and Catholic schools.
All schools get funding from federal government according to a formula depending on school sector, Socio Economic Status background of students and so on.
Unlike Catholic schools, independent schools are not affiliated with any church or other agency.
In Australia, the independent school sector makes up about a third of the private school sector.
The Catholic school sector makes up the remaining two thirds.
Education within public schools is largely free. However, most public schools do require a small voluntary annual fee to be paid and
parents usually have to purchase uniforms and pay for excursions and some instances items such as textbooks.
Most public schools are co-educational, meaning both sexes are present within a class.
Since private schools receive less funding from government, private schools charge tuition fees.
The fees vary a lot ($1,000 - $20,000+) depending on the student's year level and the school's size.
Larger independent schools charge higher tuition fees.
Private school uniforms tend to be more expensive than those for public schools, and more strictly enforced.
Regardless of whether a school is government or private, it is regulated by the same curriculum standards framework;
International students need to pay school tuition fees.
Government schools can be divided into two categories: open and selective school.
The open schools accept all students from their government-defined catchment areas.
Many open government schools have selective classes or accelerated learning programs.
These schools cater for high achieving, academically talented students by providing an educationally enriched environment.
They have high entrance requirements and cater to a much larger area. Entrance to selective schools is very competitive. See
Selective Schools |
Select Entry Test Format |
NSW Select High School Entry Scores.
In Victoria, a number of government high schools offer programs for very able students which
accelerate them through high school and reduce secondary schooling from six years to five years.
Entrance is by examination, interview and teacher reference. See Acceleration Class.
Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of six and fifteen to seventeen, depending on the state or territory, and date of birth.
Find top primary and secondary schools and their rankings / ratings