Below is an overview of the Australian Education system.
age 3 to 4 Kindergarten - (UK-Nursery or Playgroup)
age 5 Preprimary - (UK- Reception )
age 6 to 12 Years 1 to years 7 - (UK-year1 -6 Primary)
age 13 to age 16 Years 8 to years 10 Senior High - (UK secondary GCSE)
Students can leave school after Yr. 10 with a Certificate of Completed Schooling (can begin apprenticeships) or complete Yrs 11&12 Secondary School GCSEs
16 to 18 Years 10 to years 12 Senior High (not compulsory) TEE Exams ( Tertiary Entrance Exam) Needed for University A-Levels
16 + Tafe College Diplomas & Certificates College: HNC, HND & NVQs, GNVQs
18+ University Degrees & Honours Degrees & Honours
School Year Starts in February and ends in December
The year consists of 2 semesters and 4 terms. 2 terms in each semester with a 2 week break between each term and a long break at Christmas (Summer)
Be sure to check the catchment area of the schools you feel are appropriate for your children as these areas are strictly enforced for popular schools and house locations are vital to eligibility. State schools have to offer any child living in their catchment area a place regardless of their current capacity. Private schools are not as strict on catchment areas as you will be responsible for transportation to and from school, however they will inform you if there are no free spaces that term or semester.
All schools charge fees whether Private or State run. Primary state schools charge a small fee to contribute to costs, you will also have to purchase your childs stationary equipment for each year. Senior schools charge for individual modules with a flat rate for the core subjects Maths, English, Science and higher costs for the more specialist, resource based modules such as IT, Arts and Sports. These costs get higher the older the student gets and the fees are payable in advance of the school year. Tafe students generally have to pay fees for courses with a range of state help on hand to help cover basic living costs. University fees are paid through student loans with various grants available for different fields of study. Private schools do not charge as much as in Europe & the UK but do tend to follow religious based curriculums depending on their faith.
All schools implement a uniform code, however this varies between State run and Private. State schools are not as strict as the UK, opting for a more casual uniform with no ties or blazers. Whereas Private schools enforce a more traditional uniform code requiring these items to be worn at all times.
All above copied from a Perth website 04/01/09 but please double check as it may not be correct.