An Introduction to State Schools in Australia

Schools State

In Australia, state schools are run by the various state governments. State schools give free education but many schools solicit from parents to give a voluntary contribution.


This can be classified into two categories: open state schools and selective state schools.


Open state schools accept all students from their government-defined catchment areas and instruct using the Curriculum and Standards Framework. Many open state schools have selective classes in which outstanding students are offered extended and advanced work.


Selective state schools have high entrance requirements and cater to a much bigger student population and location. Entrance to selective state schools is usually very competitive.


Australian Education Overview


Australian education is essentially the job of the state and territories. Every territory or state government makes available funding and controls the private and public schools that are in its governing.


Typically the education in Australia follows the three-tier model that is comprised of primary education (primary schools), secondary education (high schools) and tertiary education which includes Universities, TAFE colleges and Vocation Education and Training providers.


The Australian school calendar varies from state to state and the many institutions, however, it typically runs for primary and secondary levels from late January/early February until mid-December, with some deviations during the inter-term holidays.


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State Preschools


Pre-prep programmes and pre-schools in Australia are typically unregulated and are not required. The initial experience most Australian kids have to learn is usually day care or a parent supervised playgroup. This kind of school activity is not really considered schooling, as a pre-school’s education is distinct from primary schools in all territories and states, with the exception of Western Australia where pre-school education is bundled as part of the primary school system.


The vast majority of Australian kids attend pre-schools the year before school. The year prior to attending primary school is the year for pre-school education and is a year that is widely attended.


State Schools in Australia


Australian School education is mandatory from certain ages as identified by state or territory laws.  Varying based on the state or territory, school is required from the age of 5 to 6 to the age of 15 to 17.


State schools or public schools are free for Australian citizens in addition to permanent residents, however, Catholic and independent schools typically have attendance costs. In addition to attendance costs; textbooks, uniforms, stationery, school camps and other school fees and expenses are not covered by state funding or subsidy.


At any rate, whether a school is part of the State, Catholic or independent systems, they are mandated to be compliant with the same curriculum guidelines adopted by their state or territory. The curriculum framework allows for some leniency in the syllabus, wherein subjects like religion can be taught.  The majority of state school kids wear uniforms, but there are some Australian state schools that do not obligate uniforms.