Schooling for Dependants

If you’ve got children that you wish to bring with you to Australia, there are a number of factors to consider. Here is some information to help you.

Visa Requirements
Members of your family who are aged between 5 and 18 years of age, and who will be living in Australia for more than 3 months, will not be granted a visa unless you can provide evidence that:
• They are enrolled in an Australian school, and;
• Any school fees payable have been paid.

For information on whether you will need to pay fees, click here.

Schooling in Western Australia
This page is intended to give you a general overview of education in WA, but you can access more detailed information at this site.

By law, all children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in school and attend every school day. Schooling may run for thirteen years, divided into a preparatory year (preschool), primary schooling and secondary schooling. All children must attend school until they are 16 years old. 16 and 17 year olds must be enrolled in school or a training organisation, be employed, or be in a combination of these three.

To find out at which age your child can or must attend kindergarten, pre-school or primary school, access the ‘school age calculator’ here.

Entry to secondary schooling is dependent on academic progress, not age.

Kindergartens have qualified staff who help children develop social and other skills, and have a strong focus on preparing children for school. Some are linked to their local school. Children are entitled to attend two full days or four half-days per week, but it is not compulsory to attend kindergarten.

Schooling:
In Australia there are two main categories of schools: public schools (also called government or state schools) and private (independent) schools – more on this can be found further down on this page. Parents are free to choose which system they want their children to attend.

For information regarding public schools and their location, please refer here. Websites for private schools are listed at the end of this page.

Preschool
is the first compulsory year of schooling and lays the foundations in literacy and numeracy for all future learning. It is commonly one year in length and children must attend five full days a week. Preschools are often attached to a particular primary school.

Primary and secondary schools: Primary education in Western Australia runs from Year 1 to Year 6, while secondary education runs from Year 7 to Year 12. Primary schools are usually on different campuses than secondary schools.

If you want your child to attend a public primary or secondary school, there will be a designated local school that they should attend, depending on where you live. If you prefer a private primary or secondary school, you should contact it directly to see whether they can accept your child.

Fees For Public Schools
To enrol your child, you should contact the relevant school directly. The principal will enrol fee-paying temporary and bridging visa holders if there is room at the school.

The annual tuition and contribution fee is as follows*:
Kindergarten – $3,000
Pre-primary and primary – $5,600
Secondary, Years 7 to 10 – $6,500
Secondary, Years 11 & 12 – $7,500

Plus any charges at the school level, for example excursions, materials, and course fees – these could add up to several hundred dollars.

*Fees may change and this information is given for indicative purposes only.

English Language Support
Access to English language support in public schools is based on the following criteria:

Schooling for dep image

Special Education Needs
WA’s education department offers a range of programmes to address special education needs, including those for gifted students, for migrant students (particularly those with low numeracy and literacy skills), or for students with intellectual or physical disability, behaviour disorders and/or special learning needs.

For international students, additional fees may be payable. You should discuss this matter with the principal of the school where you are enrolling your children.

Private (Independent) Schools
There are many types of private schools and many are connected with a particular religion; for example, Catholic schools. Fees vary considerably between private schools, so you should contact schools directly to be aware of the full costs for students. More information about private schools can be obtained from the followings sites:
Private School Directory
Association of Independent Schools Western Australia
Catholic Education Office of Western Australia
Anglican Schools of Western Australia

Interpreters
Non-English speaking parents and caregivers may ask the school for an interpreter to be present when discussing matters involving their children such as school enrolment, subject choice, educational progress, attendance, welfare or behaviour.

Parents, caregivers and community members can also use the ONCALL Telephone Interpreter Service to contact the school or district office. A school may use this service to communicate with non-English speaking parents or caregivers. ONCALL is accessible by phoning 08 9225 7700, and provides a professional interpreting service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.