School and Preschool
Preschool or kindergarten is available for all children in the year before school. Preschool
helps children to develop physically, emotionally and socially before going to school.
Children must attend school from five years of age until they finish Year 10. After Year 10
they must participate in full-time education, training or employment or a combination of these
activities (at least 25 hours per week) until age 17.
Generally, children attend primary school until they are 12 or 13 years old and then attend
high school (or ‘secondary school’) until they are 17 or 18 years old. Some colleges (senior
secondary schools) are only for students in Years 11 and 12 who are preparing for final high
You can send your children to either a government or a non-government school. Schools are
listed in the White Pages.
Government schools provide free education. However, most schools request a small annual
fee for educational and sporting programs. Parents may have to provide additional materials,
including pencils, pens, textbooks and school uniforms.
Students holding temporary visas may be required to pay full school fees – check with the
Call 131 450
Non-government schools charge fees, and they may have a religious affiliation or a particular
educational philosophy. To find out about private education, contact the selected school
directly or make an appointment with the relevant non-government educational authority.
If you need before or after school care, or care during school holidays, ask the school.
To enrol your child in a school, phone or visit the school. You will need to take your visa or
entry to Australia documents, proof of your child's date of birth, and any papers, including
school reports, relating to their previous education. You will also need to show immunisation
documents. See Chapter 9, Health and Wellbeing.
Choosing a school can be a difficult decision. You can learn more about local schools from
the MySchool website at www.myschool.edu.au/
Non-English speaking school children
Support services to learn English vary across Australia. Contact your state or territory
education authority or your child’s school for more information
Interpreters at schools
Parents and carers who speak limited or no English can have an interpreter present when
discussing matters involving their children at school. Before you meet with the school, contact
TIS National on 131 450 (24 hours, seven days a week) or go to www.tisnational.gov.au