Students at public schools on average do not do as well as students in private schools, both academically and vocationally later in life. That said, there are students that do quite well. And some public schools are better than others. Selective high schools are excellent schools for children to attend, arguably better than many private schools. Selective high schools require students to achieve the highest results in the Selective High School Test for entry. It’s competitive but children that get accepted into these schools have clear advantages.
A common path is for students to attend a public school for primary years, and then to either apply for a selective school or attend a private school, if possible financially for the family.
Most expats will be coming for a medium term stay and will be on a temporary visa.
The fees for temporary visa holders are:
Years K – 6 Primary School $4,500.00 ($5,000 in 2014 and 2015)
Years 7 – 10 Junior High School $4,500.00 ($5,000 in 2014 and 2015)
Years 11 – 12 Senior High School $5,500.00 ($6,000 in 2014 and 2015)
Public schools are free for permanent residents and citizens.
The process involved for application is:
- Make application for enrolment directly to the government primary or secondary school nearest to the place of residence.
- When you visit the local government school, you must take the following original documents to the school for copying and certification: passport and current visa.
- The applicant must request the school to provide a Temporary Residents Application Form to complete, or it can be downloaded from the website at http://www.internationalschool.edu.au prior to visiting the school.
- The applicant must complete the appropriate sections of the Temporary Residents Application Form.
- The school principal will complete the Principal’s Verification Section of the Temporary Residents Application Form and will provide the applicant with certified copies of the student’s passport and visa for submission with the application.
- The applicant must post the completed Application Form, a certified copy of the student’s passport, a certified copy of the student’s visa and payment of the Temporary Residents Administration Fee and Education Fee to the temporary residents unit.
For more detail on this process visit: http://www.detinternational.nsw.edu.au
The Visitor Visa Program is for visitors to Australia who want their children to study at a NSW government school while they are in Australia for short term visits. In order to qualify, children must:
- Hold a visitor visa to Australia
- Be accompanied by their parents, or be staying with direct relatives who live in Australia
It would be difficult to apply before coming to the country unless you knew the suburb you would be living in.
To be eligible to attend a Selective High School, students must be Australian citizens or permanent visa holders. Entry to a Selective High School is for Year Seven onwards. So students must sit the tests in Year Six, usually when they are around 10 or 11 years old. Students that are overseas at the time of testing may apply online and will be required to organise their own testing which needs to be overseen by an authorized practitioner.
In addition to the Selective High Schools, there are many specialist high schools. They specialise in either language, sports or the arts. Students are sometimes required to demonstrate their aptitude in these specialist areas to be considered for enrollment.
- NSW Board of Studies http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au
- NSW Public Schools http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au
- Study in Australia http://www.detinternational.nsw.edu.au/schools/
- NSW Board of Studies, International Students http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/gotoschool/intnl_students/index.php
- Selective High School Information http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/learning/k-6assessments/selectiveschools.php
In terms of quality of schools, most North Shore and Eastern Suburbs rate highly in the public schools registers and are an excellent starting point for your child’s education in Australia. Specifically look at Sydney Boys High, North Sydney Boys High, North Sydney Girls High, Killara High, Mosman High School.