Education in Australia
In Australia, education is primarily the responsibility of each individual state and territory across the country. Each state or territory government provides funding and regulates both public and private schools within each governing area. The federal government helps fund the public universities, but is not involved in setting the curriculums. Generally, education in Australia follows the three-tier model, which includes primary education, secondary education (high school) and tertiary education, such as tafe or university.
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 years of age. 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, while 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; stationary, 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 some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught, and this flexibility also allows for teacher individuality and creative pedagogy within their classroom instruction.
Overall education prepares for the economic growth and prosperity of future Australia and is a fundamental and positive part of the continued growth and successes of our country.