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  • Writer's pictureElite Woodhams Relocation

Education in Australia – Surprises

Just as the education system of every country is unique, new arrivals to Australia can be surprised at some of the features of the Australian system. Here we comment on some of the more common:

  1. The Australian education system is consistently ranked in the top 20 in the world by the OECD.

  2. The school year starts in January, ends mid-December. For families coming from the Northern Hemisphere, their children may have to go up or go down a school year. If they return to their country of origin, they may experience the same issue when leaving Australia.

  3. Each State has its own leaving school examination system and there is no national curriculum for Years 11 & 12.

  4. Unlike in some other countries, league tables have not traditionally been a popular way to judge a school’s performance in Australia.

  5. An increasing number of schools offer the International Baccalaureate programme.

  6. All children entering pre-school or kindergarten must produce proof of immunisation.

  7. All schools have a school uniform that all students are required to wear.

  8. In New South Wales, children start school in the year they turn 5, provided their birthday falls before 31st July. In Victoria however, the cut-off date is 30th April and in Queensland and Western Australia, it’s 30th June. To add to the confusion, some private schools will have their own, often earlier cut-off dates.

  9. Some states have selective government schools catering to gifted and talented students. Only permanent residents and citizens are eligible to sit the exams required to gain admission.

  10. Most public schools have a strict zone or catchment area. High performing public schools which are in particular demand can impact the house prices within the zone.

  11. Most private schools in New South Wales are single sex, but in Victoria an increasing number are now co-ed.

  12. Many private schools have lengthy waiting lists, often parents are putting the child’s name down from birth. Parents are therefore well-advised to consider alternatives rather than just one school.

  13. In some States, temporary residents are required to pay fees to enrol in Government schools. For example, in New South Wales temporary residents (including 482 visa holders) are required to pay $5200 (Kindergarten – Year 10) or $6200 (Year 11 & Year 12) per child per year as an Education Fee. However, Victoria does not impose such fees.

At Woodhams Relocation Centre, we provide employees with the help they need to relocate overseas for work with their families. Our expertise extends to a range of services which includes school searches. We manage the relocation from start to finish to ensure the whole family is happy and settled in their new city.

For more information on our destination services or assistance with your relocation needs, get in touch with us.


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