Primary and High Schools

The Australian School System

Whilst there are some variations between different cities, in general the Australian school system involves:

Primary School (from age 5):
Kindergarten (Prep School) + Years 1-6
High School (from age 12):
Years 7-12*

*In some states, high school starts from Year 8. For ACT (Canberra), high school is between Year 7-10 followed by 2 years of College (Year 11-12).

With the exception of ACT schools which have continuous assessments throughout Year 11-12, there is a major exam at the end of Year 12 which will count heavily towards the entrance score for university studies.

Government (Public) vs Private Schools

The majority of students in Australia, including international students, study in government (public) schools.

There are advantages and disadvantages for both government and private schools. The ultimate choice depends on the student’s circumstances including location, entry requirements, price, availability and proximity to relatives/friends.

What is important to know is that regardless of whether a school is government or private, all schools are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks.

Helping You Through the Application Process

The application process for schools can be complicated because:

  1. School selection is difficult as there are so many choices but not every school may be available or suitable for international students.
  2. Students are very young so the Australian government has many regulations to protect students who are under 18 years’ old.
  3. The students’ English ability is often limited and there are different entry requirements (e.g., AEAS, IELTS, etc).

Fortunately, ACIC has a team of experienced consultants that have placed thousands of international students into all types of Australian schools.

ACIC is the official representative of nearly all government schools around Australia and have a wide choice of private schools as well, including both co-ed and single-sex schools.

We have the latest school information and government requirements so we can guide you on every step in the application process and secure the best school placement for you or your child.

ACIC’s Expertise in Under-18 Students

Apart from helping you find the best school, ACIC’s team of experts specialise in helping students and parents with:

  • Arranging homestay and guardianship for under-18s
  • Arranging for parents or relatives to be a student’s guardian
  • CAAW and welfare arrangements
  • Visa applications for both the student and the parent