Australia’s future depends on a high quality and dynamic school education system to provide students with foundation skills, values, knowledge and understanding necessary for lifelong learning, employment and full participation in society. The education system is of the highest standard and enjoys international renown.
Schooling in Australia starts with a kindergarten or preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. In the final year of secondary school, Year 12, you can study for a government-endorsed certificate that is recognised by all Australian universities and vocational education and training institutions. This Senior Secondary Certificate of Education is also recognised by many international universities.
This cooperation is underpinned by the National Declaration on the Goals for Schooling for all students, updated byMinisterial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA)  in 2008. The declaration focuses on the learning outcomes of students, and sets out a vision for the education of young Australians over the next decade and replaces the 1999 Adelaide Declaration - National Goals for Schooling in the 21st Century.
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a system of national qualifications in education and training. 

Primary and Secondary Schooling

States and territories have the primary responsibility for funding state government schools. They also provide supplementary assistance to non-government schools. The Australian Government is the primary source of public funding for non-government schools, while also providing supplementary assistance to government schools. Most non-government schools have some religious affiliation, with approximately two-thirds of non-government school students enrolled in Catholic schools.
For more information about specific state and territory public school education and training policies, including school starting age, curriculum information and programs, please visit the relevant state or territory authority website:

Information on non-government school education authorities can be found at the following websites:

The school year is divided into three or four terms (School Term) and runs from late January/early February until December. There is a short holiday between terms and a long summer holiday in December and January. Students attend school from Monday to Friday each week. School hours vary but are generally from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm each school day.


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