Schooling in Perth and the Australian Education System

Home: Education


Schooling in Perth is governed by the School Education Act 1999.

This requires children of compulsory school age to attend school, thats all children aged between 6 and 17 years.


In Western Australia we have a mix of different schools, government scools, private schools, co-educational, single gender schools, schools with a particular religious focus, and schools providing specialty programs such as music, sport and vocational training.

Schooling in Perth is generally split into three levels a little like the UK:

  • PRIMARY SCHOOL which starts in year 1 when you are 6.
  • HIGH SCHOOL from years 8 through to 12.
  • FURTHER EDUCATION from the age of 18.

Then you can go to University or alternative tertiary education or even study online education

For children under 6 you’ve got a year of Kindie and a year of pre-primary, both of which are voluntary.

Compare Australian Education System with the UK
Age 3-4 5 6-12 13-16 You have the option to leave school a this point or continue on into Further Education 16-18 16+ 18+
School Kinder-
Pre-Primary Primary Years 8-10 Senior High Years 10-12 Senior High TAFE College University
Exams N/A N/A N/A Certificate of Completed Schooling TEE Exams Diplomas & Certificates Degrees & Honours
Age 3-4 5-7 7-11 11-16 You have the option to leave school a this point or continue on into Further Education 16-19 16-19 18+
School Nursery or Playgroup Infants Junior Secondary School Sixth Form College University
Exams N/A N/A N/A GCSE A Level HNC, HND & NVQs, GNVQs Degrees & Honours


The Cost Australia education is on the up. Latest CPI sub-index figures indicate school costs are rising by 7.1% a year.


Unlike the UK the Australian school calendar year starts the end of January and ends the middle of December. The school year is divided into four terms with three two week breaks between the terms and a seven week break over Christmas.

For university and tertiary school students (further education), the year is usually much shorter(but with less holidays), it begins early March and ends mid-November.


Your child can attend kindergarten (Kindy) from the age of four (they need to have turned four by 30 June in any given year). They are entitled to attend 4 places a week on a government kindy program.

Once your child has turned five (by 30 June in any goven year) they can attend pre-primary classes on a full basis, five days a week.

Many Primary schools will offer a Kindergarten and pre-primary class.


You will need to enroll your child at school at the beginning of the school year they turn age 6 years and 6 months.

For the more popular Government schools you will find that priority is given to those students in the schools catchment areas.

If you have a preference on schools then you need to make sure that you check with the schools which suburbs fall into their catchment areas.


You can choose to send your children to a public school, with tuition free (government run), or a private school with fees. Private schools are often run by or associated with religious institutions some of which offer boarding facilities (popular with those parents who live and work in the more regional areas or Western Australia).

Private School is the preferred option of many parents. Fees for private schools vary between $2,000 and $10,000 per year. Check the waiting list if you would like to send you child to a private school as many have long waiting lists.

Whether your child attends a private or public school the government will regularly implement quality assurance controls on the Australian education system with regular reviews of all the schools, this is to maintain the high standards expected from the schools.

After year 10 many students will progress onto year 12. It is necessary to complete year 12 if you want to go on to a course at Uni.

Entry to university and tertiary institution, has a minimum grade requirement, this will differ between institutions and courses property buyer. who can look at your requirements and budget and find you a home that ticks all your boxes whilst puts you in the catchment area of a good government school.


Immigrate Perth was our way of helping others with the move to Perth by sharing our migration experience. If your thinking of a move to Perth then there is no better way than to learn from the experience of others.

So if you have experienced moving your children into a School in Perth from overseas or just have an opinion of a School in Perth (good or bad) you would like to share, please complete the form below and you can share your story with others.

Enter your story here!



[ ? ]


Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]



Click here to upload more images (optional)


Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)


What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…



Kindergarten or Pre School
I would like to know what are the schooling as well as kindergarten fees for my son (31/2 year old) I will come to Perth on a 457 visa. Would appreciate …


Cannington Senior High School Perth W.A.
I have lived in England for almost 30 years now but I remember my High School years at the above with great fondness. I can still picture some of my old …


Cannington Senior High School Not rated yet
I started at CSHS in 1972 as a first year high school student, one of many as there were students from various local primary schools. Mine was Beckenham …

Click here to write your own.