Everything an immigrant parent should know when enrolling a child in an Australian school

Everything an immigrant parent should know when enrolling a child in an Australian school

According to the latest data published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia remains amongst the top countries that offers a world-class education. 
It excels in many major categories cited by the intergovernmental economic organisation, scoring either “above average” or “high” in spending, classroom size, teacher salary, government support, and overall teaching quality.  
It is also one of the biggest contributors in the global international enrolment segment, as 8 percent of the world’s total foreign students choose to study in Australia; trailing behind the US, the UK, France, and Germany.  
It explains why a lot of foreign parents want their kids to study in this country. Moreover, Australia scores way beyond the average scores for the core tree foundations of learning—reading, math, and sciences—making it more appealing to those with school-aged children. 

Education system in Australia
Like Canada and other federal countries, the education system in Australia is the primary responsibility of the states and territories. This paves the way to a diversified curriculum comprising varying school terms, teaching programs, and fees among educational institutions nationwide. 
Nonetheless, a lot of public and private schools have already adopted the national curriculum introduced by the federal government in 2013.  
Basically, the country’s education system, which adheres to the K-12 scheme, is divided into three areas such as primary school, secondary school, and tertiary education. Compulsory education begins at age five or six, depending on the state and territory, and ends at 17/18.
  • Primary school covers a child first six or seven years of education, beginning from Kindergarten through Year 6 or 7.
  • Secondary school covers from Years 7 through 10 or 8 through 12 (depending on the state).

If you choose to enrol your child in a state-run school, you no longer have to worry about paying for the basic tuition fees. But most state- and territory-funded schools don’t cover extra-curricular expenses such as uniforms, materials, field trips, and textbooks. These are called “voluntary contributions,” which can cost you at least $600 to $1000 a year. 
Tuition at private schools, conversely, can cost from around $800 to $30000 a year. Catholic schools, funded by religious organisations and the federal government, are a bit cheaper at $600 and $3000 a year.  

School typically ends early or mid-December and the new year academic year starts late January or first week of February, but specific dates could vary depending on the type of school, state and region.
Meanwhile, for universities, summer holidays span from the end of Nov (or early December) until the end of February.  
The Australian academic year is divided into four terms, with one term break each.
The Australian government has published a complete list of school terms per territory (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South, Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) on its website. But it also advises the public to confirm with schools directly about specific dates as holidays depend on the region.

School for immigrant children
According to the OECD’s report, Australia has fewer alienated immigrant students than most developed countries; among the most crucial factors being multiculturalism and diversity.
The report also revealed that immigrant students in the country are amongst the highest results in various categories in OECD-member nations, while schools with higher concentrations of immigrant students perform better than their counterparts. 
Also, immigrant pre-primary students scored greater than their local schoolmates in reading. Australian teachers are also some of the most well—prepared in all member nations when it comes to teaching in multicultural classrooms.
Just recently, the Australian government introduced a new Australian student visa— Guardian visas (subclass 580)—which allows students aged six and above (regardless of their nationality) to study in the country. This shows the willingness of the Australian government to admit more foreign students.
The government also said that the country’s Student Visa—regardless of class—doesn’t have age limits and can be acquired multiple times.

Enrolling your child
You don’t have to worry about leaving your child at school since Australian teachers are well-trained in multicultural settings. 
Some experts advise parents to accompany their child for at least the first few days of school to see for themselves how the school looks and its system works. Regular visits are also recommended, which can be spent talking to other parents and, of course, to their child’s teachers.
The government, on the other hand, recommends that parents should contact their child’s school to ask about everything they need to know such as schedule, curriculum, and holidays since rules can vary.

Talk to our registered migrations consultants to find out more about Australian visa for students.

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