The Australian Government plays a leadership role in school education and invests in areas of national educational significance. States and territories have responsibility for the delivery of school education in Australia with schools operated by government and non-government education authorities, including Catholic and independent systems and schools.
All education ministers work together to progress national objectives through the Education Council. Education ministers released a national declaration on 12 December 2008 on the educational goals for young Australians. The Melbourne Declaration has two national goals:
- Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence; and
- that all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
Formal schooling in Australia starts with a Foundation Year (the year before Year 1, which is known variously as Kindergarten, Preparatory Year, Pre-primary, Transition or Reception), followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. In the senior secondary years, (Years 11 and 12) students can study for the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (commonly referred to as Year 12 certificate), which is required for entry by most Australian universities and vocational education and training institutions. It is also recognised as an entry requirement by many international universities. For more information visit the Australian Qualifications Framework website.
A list of school term dates is available. Families can also contact individual schools to get more information on their term dates.
Further information on state and territory government education is available from the following websites:
- New South Wales Department of Education and Communities
T +61 2 9561 8000
- Australian Capital Territory Education and Training Directorate
T +61 2 6207 5111
- Northern Territory Department of Education
T +61 8 8999 5659
- Western Australian Department of Education
T +61 8 9264 4111
- South Australian Department of Education and Child Development
T +61 8 8226 1000
- Queensland Department of Education and Training
T +61 7 3237 0111
- Tasmanian Department of Education
T 1800 816 057
- Victorian Department of Education and Training
T +61 39637 2000