Melbourne area public schools are ranked as some of the best in Australia. With several public schools in established suburbs recently outperforming their private counterparts, many families find that public schools meet their needs and provide a more diverse, social environment for their children than exclusive private schools.
Which school your child attends will largely be determined by the area in which you live. Although there are cases in which a child from one area attends a public school in another, this is a rare enough occurrence that you should not expect this to be possible. As such, choosing a suburb with good public schools may be a very important factor for you when choosing a place to live.
Application / Enrolment Process:
Once you have determined which school your child will be attending, you will have to submit the proper forms and information. Visit the school to obtain the enrolment forms and be prepared to provide the following:
- Evidence of your Child’s date of birth (such as a birth certificate or passport)
- Your name and contact details, as well as any emergency contacts
- Immunisation Status Certificate
- Health and welfare information (detailing any allergies or medical conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, that your child suffers from)
- Information of languages your child speaks (or hears frequently at home)
Tuition and Fees:
While public schools are free, parents will be expected to cover some associated costs such as uniforms (often mandatory), supplies, or equipment for extra-curricular activities (such as sports).
The Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website is an excellent resource to determine which public schools are located in each area / suburb, and find information on how to enrol your child. http://www.education.vic.gov.au/findaservice/Home.aspx
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) recently introduced the My School website which allows parents to search schools in their area and compare statistical information (such as total number of students and teaching staff, or attendance rate) as well as results of the ACARA’s National Assessment Program for each school. http://www.myschool.edu.au/
Another resource that many parents find helpful is the Parent’s Guide to Victorian Government Primary Schools published by the Department of Education. It can be downloaded as a PDF file from http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/30357/welcome_primary_school_contents.pdf