Australian Schools – Fees and Terms

Schooling types

In Australia, children start their schooling between the ages of 4 and 5; they can leave at 16 (transferring to vocational study, apprenticeships or into the workplace) or stay on for a further two years study, usually in preparation for tertiary study.

Temporary resident visa holders are liable to pay school fees for their children. In Western Australia this will be $4000 for the first child and $2000 for every following child per year of schooling. Permanent resident visa holders are not liable to pay these fees.

There are three main types of education in Australia:
Public schooling — public education is funded by the Australian Government and provides free tuition for all students. A compulsory school fee of around AU$223 is charged each year—but only to cover the cost of necessities such as libraries, sporting fees and books. Public schools offer innovative, advanced and diverse curricula—and most are co-educational.
Catholic schooling — Australia has a number of schools that are privately run and subsidised by the Catholic Education Office.
Private schooling — Australia also has a number of independent, privately-owned schools for which tuition is charged.

School terms

School terms vary slightly between states, the DECS website has the dates. Note also, term dates can differ between public and private schools. Generally new Term 1 begins last week in January, Term 2 starts last week in April, Term 3 starts Mid July and Term 4 Mid October.