Australian School Systems Across Different States and Territories

Australia welcomes students from all over the globe and is an increasingly popular study destination. Australia is experienced for its academic excellence, offering internationally recognised qualifications with great and numerous career development opportunities. The Education System in Australia starts with a total of 12 years of Primary and Secondary Schools. Education in Australia is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories. Each state or territory government provides funding and regulates the public and private schools within its governing area.

Australian School Systems across different states and territories

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

  • Primary School: age 5 years or turning 5 on or before 30th April of that year. Runs from Years 1 to 6.
  • Secondary School: commences in Year 7 to 12.

New South Wales (NSW)

  • Pre-School: Four years old by July 31st in the year of attendance.
  • Secondary School: Starts in Year 7 in NSW through to Year 12.
  • Examination System: Higher School Certificate (HSC). The end result for students is a combination of their accumulative subject results and the results from the HSC exams.

Northern Territory (NT)

  • Pre-school: starts at the age of four.
  • Primary school: starts at the age of 6 through till the age of 11.
  • Secondary School: begins at age 12 and carries on through to 18 years.

Queensland (QLD)

  • Pre-school: Four years old by the last day of December in the year before enrolment. Children are enrolled in Year 1 of Primary School in January. The children will need to be five years old by the last day of December of the previous year.
  • Primary Schools: 6 yrs old before the 30th of June in the year they are enrolled.
  • Secondary School: Students may enroll in their first year of secondary school after seven years of primary education. They will continue from Year 8 through to Year 12 at secondary school. School is generally compulsory until Year 10.

South Australia (SA)

  • Pre-school: starts from the ages of 3 or 4 years.
  • Primary school: takes place from Year 1 - 7 (ages approximately 6 - 11).
  • Secondary School: starts from Year 8 - 12.

Tasmania (TAS)

  • Kindergarten: 4 yrs on or before January the 1st in the year they start.
  • Preparatory School: turns 5 on or before the 1st January
  • Primary School: from Year 1 - 6.
  • High School: takes place from Years 7 - 12.

Victoria (Vic)

  • Prep school: 5 yrs old by the 30th April the year of enrollment.

Western Australia (WA)

  • Kindergarten: begins at the age of 3 or 4 (as long as the child will turn 4 by June 30th of that year).
  • Pre-Primary: begins at the age of 4 or 5 (as long as the child with turn 5 by June 30th of that year).
  • Primary School: commences at the age of six and is from Years 1 - 7.
  • Secondary School: commences in Year 8 of their school life and continues to Year 12.

Home Schooling

Home schooling is a legal option, available to children across all States and Territories of Australia. Home schooling offers parents and guardians an alternative to state or private schooling. Parents take on the primary responsibility for their child's education. Home schooling is governed by the Education Act; however, the legislative policies vary greatly for each state. Parents are required to comply with the guidelines provided for the state in which they live.
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