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(often referred to as Public/State Schools)

The education system in Victoria is run by the Victorian government who have control over the 1539 state schools. There are many good quality primary schools in Victoria and in most cases you are eligible for a place if you live within the school’s catchment area. A few schools will be 'capped' which means that they ar exempt from taking more students as they do not have the physical capacity The education department can clarify whether or not a school is 'capped'. Good areas tend to have good local schools, so often housing is chosen based on the schools zoning. Class size average  is 24 but can be higher. Most parents  find the quality of schooling for these first school years is very good.

Entry: To commence school in Prep your child must turn 5 by the 30th April the year of enrolment. Children must be at school bu the time they are 6. 


Local State High Schools

For high school (Year 7 – age 12+), the number of the state schools decreases but the catchment areas become bigger. The reputation of state high schools depends on many factors and can vary considerably.While some schools achieve much better results others have far better on site facilities. The number of children attending a school has an impact on the funding allowance. State selective high schools  have a strong academic slant and excellent reputation. To gain entry to these schools, students must sit for a selective exam the year before entry in year 9. There is a high demand for these places and exams are taken a year prior to entry, so it is often not an option for expats moving to Australia mid way through the school year.There are four selective entry high schools in Victoria for students in Years 9−12: Melbourne High which is a school for boys;The Mac.Robertson Girls' High ), Nossal High School which is co-educational and Suzanne Cory High School which is also co-educational.

Students can leave school in Year 10 or continue through to year 12 when they will receive a high school graduation certificate.

*This certificate is known as the Victoria Certificate of Education (VCE) in Victoria


Public/State School in Melbourne – What will it cost me?

Overseas residents in Victoria are not always charged a higher premium, an average of $18,163. 457 visa holders will be treated the same as locals.Locals are not expected to pay for primary school although there is usually a voluntary levy to help out. Fundraising by the parents is also part of the expectation but this can be a good opportunity to meet other parents and make friends.

Please note: Those studying on a short stay bridging visa may well be required to pay higher school fees.


1. Make an appointment at the public school within your zone

2. Collate documentation. You will need : Passport, Birth Certificate, Copy of your lease to show you live in catchment area; name and contact details of parents/guardians and emergency contacts; languages spoken; information on health of the child; doctor and dentist details and immunisation certificate

3. Each school will give you the relevant forms which they need filled and will assist if you need an interpreter to fill them in.












For further information go to the Department of Education :

To find a state school in your area go to:



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