- Education in Australia
Education in Australia DEEWR Federal Minister for Education Peter Garrett, Chris Evans National education budget (2009) Budget $44,489 million (4.63% of GDP) – 80th ranking of government expenditure on education worldwide. General Details Primary Languages English System Type Federal Established
Literacy (2003) Total 99% Male 99% Female 99% Enrollment (2008) Total 20.4% of population Primary 1.9 million Secondary 1.4 million Post Secondary 1 million Attainment(2008) Secondary diploma 75% Post-secondary diploma 34%
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. The federal government helps fund the public universities, but is not involved in setting curriculum. Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model which includes primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools/high schools) and tertiary education (universities and/or TAFE Colleges).
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as 6th for Reading, 8th for Science and 13th for Mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark & Finland.
Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of six and fifteen to seventeen, depending on the state or territory, and date of birth. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE) and the higher education sector (university).
The academic year in Australia varies between states and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.
- 1 Pre-school
- 2 School
- 3 Comparison of ages and Year levels across States and Territories
- 4 Tertiary
- 5 Federal department
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Pre-school (also known as Kindergarten in some states and territories) in Australia is relatively unregulated, and is not compulsory. The first exposure many Australian children have to learn with others outside of traditional parenting is day care or a parent-run playgroup. This sort of activity is not generally considered schooling, as Pre-school education is separate from primary school in all states and territories, except Western Australia and Queensland where pre-school education is taught as part of the primary school system.
Pre-schools are usually run by the State and Territory Governments, except in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales where they are run by local councils, community groups or private organisations. Pre-school is offered to three- to five-year-olds; attendance numbers vary widely between the states, but 85.7% of children attended pre-school the year before school. The year before a child is due to attend primary school is the main year for pre-school education. This year is far more commonly attended, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays.
Responsibility for pre-schools in New South Wales and Victoria, lies with the Department of Community Services and the Department of Human Services, respectively. In all other states and territories of Australia, responsibility for pre-schools lie with the relevant education department.
School education in Australia is compulsory between certain ages as specified by state or territory legislation. Depending on the state or territory, and date of birth of the child, school is compulsory from the age of five to six to the age of fifteen to seventeen. In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen. Government schools educate approximately 65% of Australian students, with approximately 34% in Catholic and Independent schools. A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas.
Government schools (also known as public schools) are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents, while Catholic and Independent schools usually charge attendance fees. However in addition to attendance fees; stationery, textbooks, uniforms, school camps and other schooling costs are not covered under government funding. The additional cost for schooling has been estimated to be on average $316 per year per child.
Regardless of whether a school is part of the Government, Catholic or Independent systems, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks of their state or territory. The curriculum framework however provides for some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught. Most school students wear uniforms, although there are varying expectations and some Australian schools do not require uniforms. A common movement among secondary schools to support student voice has taken form as organisations such as VicSRC in Victoria bring together student leaders to promote school improvement.
Catholic and Independent schools
Catholic schools enroll 20.2% of students, while non-Catholic non-government schools, often called Independent schools, enroll 13.7% of students.
Most Catholic schools are either run by their local parish, local diocese and their state's Catholic Education Department. Independent schools include schools operated by secular educational philosophies such as Montessori, however, the majority of Independent schools are religious, being Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or non-denominational.
Students may be slightly younger or older than stated below, due to variation between states and territories. The name for the first year of Primary school varies considerably between states and territories, e.g. what is known as Kindergarten in ACT and NSW may mean the year preceding the first year of primary school or preschool in other states and territories. Some states vary in whether Year 7 is part of the Primary or Secondary years, as well as the existence of a middle school system.
- Kindergarten (QLD) 3–4 year olds
- Pre-school / Kindergarten / Prep (ACT, NT, NSW and SA/ TAS, VIC and WA / QLD): 4–5 year olds Under the National Curriculum this year-level will be renamed: Kindergarten
- Kindergarten / Preparatory / Pre-Primary / Reception / Transition(ACT and NSW / TAS, VIC and QLD / WA / SA / NT): 5–6 year olds Under the National Curriculum this year-level will be renamed: Foundation Year
- Year 1: 6–7 year olds
- Year 2: 7–8 year olds
- Year 3: 8–9 year olds
- Year 4: 9–10 year olds
- Year 5: 10–11 year olds
- Year 6: 11–12 year olds
- Year 7: 12–13 year olds (QLD, SA, WA)
- Year 7: 12–13 year olds (ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC) (Middle School NT)
- Year 8: 13–14 year olds
- Year 9: 14–15 year olds
- Year 10: 15–16 year olds (High School NT)
- Year 11: 16–17 year olds ("College" ACT)
- Year 12: 17–19 year olds
Comparison of ages and Year levels across States and Territories
Students can undertake Senior School Studies for up to three years. Students who complete Year 12 under a reduced workload generally do this in two years, the latter being referred to as "Year 13".
Year(s) In School 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Australian Capital Territory Primary School High School College Kindergarten Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 New South Wales Primary School High School Kindergarten Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Northern Territory Primary School Middle School High School Transition Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Queensland Primary School High School Preparatory Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 South Australia Junior primary school Primary school Secondary School/High School Reception Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Tasmania Primary School High School College Preparatory Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Victoria Primary School Secondary School VCE Preparatory Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Western Australia Primary School High School Pre-Primary Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12
Under the national Australian Curriculum being developed the first year of schooling will be known as "Foundation" .
In the Northern Territory, primary schools often include a pre-school. In Western Australia, primary schools often include two pre-school years.
Age in the year
before Year 1
Compulsory age Nomenclature year
before Year 1
ACT 4.8 Age 5 on 30 April Year in which
child turns 6
Pre-school Kindergarten NT 4.6 Age 5 on 30 June Year in which
child turns 6
Pre-school Transition NSW 4.5 Age 5 on 31 July Year in which
child turns 6
Pre-school Kindergarten QLD 4.6 Age 5 on 30 June Year in which
child turns 6.64
Preparatory SA  5.0 In the term
after 5th birthday
6 years of age Pre-school Reception TAS 5.0 Age 5 on 1 January Year after
Kindergarten Preparatory VIC 4.8 Age 5 on 30 April Year in which
child turns 6
Kindergarten Preparatory WA 4.6 Age 5 on 30 June Year in which
child turns 6.6
Children that have been identified as gifted may begin school earlier than the stated minimum age in some states and territories. Additionally gifted students may 'skip' a subject or year and advance to a higher grade in schooling.
Education in Australia has been the responsibility of the following departments:
- Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET) (1987)
- Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) (1996)
- Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) (1997)
- Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) (2001)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) (2007)
- Academic grading in Australia
- Australian Qualifications Framework
- Australian universities
- University admission
- Education in the Australian Capital Territory
- Education in New South Wales
- Education in the Northern Territory
- Education in Queensland
- Education in South Australia
- Education in Tasmania
- Education in Victoria
- Education in Western Australia
- Performing arts education in Australia
- Tertiary education fees in Australia
- For an Analysis relating to the implementation of a common school starting age and associated nomenclature by 1 January 2010 see ~ Cost/Benefit Analysis report by John Manefield and John Moore of March 2006
- ACT Year 12 Certificate
- Higher School Certificate – the credential awarded for completing Years 11 and 12 in NSW
- International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
- Northern Territory Certificate of Education
- Queensland Certificate of Education
- School Certificate – the credential awarded for completing Years 9 and 10 in NSW
- South Australian Certificate of Education
- Tasmanian Certificate of Education
- Victorian Certificate of Education
- Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning
- Western Australian Certificate of Education
- ACT Scaling Test
- Queensland Core Skills Test
- Overall Position (Queensland)
- NAPLAN (National)
- International Baccalaureate Organization
- Department of Education and Training (Australian Capital Territory)
- Department of Education and Training (New South Wales)
- Department of Education and Training (Northern Territory)
- Department of Education and Training (Queensland)
- Department of Education and Children's Services
- Department of Education (Tasmania)
- Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria)
- Department of Education and Training (Western Australia)
Lists of schools
- List of schools in Australia
- List of schools in the Australian Capital Territory
- List of schools in New South Wales
- List of schools in the Northern Territory
- List of schools in Queensland
- List of schools in Greater Brisbane
- List of schools in South Australia
- List of schools in Tasmania
- List of schools in Victoria
- List of schools in Perth, Western Australia
- List of schools in rural Western Australia
- List of universities in Australia
- List of universities in Australia by enrollment
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- Australian Education System
- Education and Training International. The international arm of the Western Australian (W.A.) Government's Department of Education and Training.
- The Official Government School Site
- edna.edu.au Education Network Australia website (Closed 30 September 2011)
- Education Services Australia website
- Educational Student Resource website
- Australian Qualifications Framework website
- Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria website
- Glossary of Australian Education Terms
- Australian Bureau of Statistics 6278.0 – Education and Training Experience, Australia, 2005
- The National Education Directory of Australia Pty Ltd
- List of Australian Universities & degrees by location
Links to related articles Education in Oceania Sovereign states Dependencies and
Australia topics History Geography Governance Politics Economy Society Culture Symbols Other topics
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