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(often referred to as Public/State Schools)

The education system in Western Australia  is run by the Western Australian government. There are some differences between different states' education system such as what each level is called (for example Prep in Queensland is Kindergarten in NSW). Some states have primary school from Grades 1-6 but in other states from 1-7. There are many good quality primary schools in Western Australia and in most cases you are eligible for a place at a school if you live within the school’s catchment area. Good areas tend to have good local schools, so often housing is chosen based on the school's zoning.

Class sizes can be high (up to 35 students to one teacher) but most parents are pleased with the quality of schooling for the primary years. Kindergarten, is an exciting learning facility created to initiate children into a school environment, beginning at the age of 3 or 4 (as long as the child will turn 4 by June 30th of that year) At a government provided kindergarten children can attend 4 sessions a week but at a private establishment such as a kindergarten at a child care centre which ill charge between $70 an $100 per day then kindergarten can be ffeed five days per week. Pre-Primary begins at the age of 4 or 5 (as long as the child with turn 5 by June 30th of that year). Primary commences at the age of six and is from Years 1 - 7.


 Local State High Schools

When it comes time to go to high school in Western Australia  (Year 8 – age 12+), the number of state schools decreases but the relevant catchment areas become much larger. The reputation of state high schools can vary considerably. Some schools achieve much better results and have far better on site facilities. The number of children attending a school increases the funding allowance. Perth has a selective coeducational high school that has a strong academic slant and a good reputation. To gain admission to this school, students must sit the Selective High Schools Test the year before entry.(See Special Schools and look for Perth Modern School and John Curtin Collge of the Arts)  There is plenty of  demand for these places and as exams are taken a year prior to entry it is often not an option for expats moving to Australia mid way through the school year. Students can complete their schooling in Year 10 or continue through to year 12 when they will receive a high school graduation certificate.

*This certificate is known as a High School Certificate (HSC) in NSW.

Entry: Secondary School starts in Year 8 and continues to Year 12. Senior Students will be aiming for the Western Australia Certificate of Education which is the measure of the student's results in specified subjects. 


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

Overseas residents in Western Australia do not always get charged overseas visitors at a higher premium: it will depend on the visa. From the beginning of the school year 2015, however, tuition fees for 457 visa holders are $4000 per year per family

Please note: Students who are on a short stay bridging visa may be required to pay higher school fees.

A media announcement was made in September 2014, by the Western Australian  Minister of Education, Hon Peter Collier about school fees for 457 holders residing in WA.

He advised that public school fees will be waived for families on 457 visa to take into account lower incomes and other hardships

  •  Families earning $75,000 a year or less will not pay the public school tuition fee
  • Illness and unemployment considered for partial or fully waived fees
  • $4,000 per annum per family, regardless of how many children enrolled in public schools


Peter Collier said while families on 457 Visas needed to contribute to the costs of educating their children in Western Australian public schools, fees must be reasonable.


“Families will pay $4,000 per annum but only once their gross household income passes $75,000. This is regardless of how many children they have in public schools,” Mr Collier said.

Regulations will also ensure dependants of 457 Visa holders retain entitlements to enrol at local schools and families will be able to choose to pay the tuition fee upfront or in instalments.

These hardship provisions are as well as reducing the fee of $4,000 per annum per family.


  • Applications for financial hardship provisions will be managed by ETI
  • More information available at

Source – Media Release



1.Collect an enrolment form from 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 orrecent account electricity, water and telephone accounts, bank details; name and contact details of parents/guardians and emergency contacts; copies of Family Court orders for confirmation of proof of name or custody arrangements ; languages spoken; information on health of the child; doctor and dentist details and immunisation information.

3.When you have completed and sent in the enrolment form to the school of your choice you will hear back from the school as to whether they have a place.

4. If you are offered a place then you must accept it and visit the school to complete the application process.


For further information go to the Department of Education :

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