If you’re planning on relocating your family to Australia, the future of your children’s education may be on your mind. However, there is no reason to fret. Australia has one of the most recognised standards of education in the world, offering students a well-rounded curriculum that further focuses on developing communication skills, self-discipline and respect.

As a parent, its no question that you would want the best for your child’s education; and deciding whether to send your children to a public or private school is often a crucial part of the decision-making process.

Here at Liveable, we’ll talk you through each of these schooling systems to help you make the best decision for your children.

Public Schools (Government/ State Schools)

With approximately two-thirds of the population opting to send their children here, public schools are a popular choice amongst Australians for good reasons. Here, students are ensured to be given enough attention, as classes do not typically consist of more than thirty individuals. Further, due to the large student population, children will have the chance to befriend people from all walks of life, and this may be particularly significant to help expat students integrate into life in Australia.

Although this branch of schooling is free for Australians and those on permanent residency visas, expats on a temporary visa would be expected to pay a fixed tuition fee associated with their state. In both cases however, parents are required to pay for textbooks, uniforms and other extra curricular activities. Further, with public schools, it is important to note that your child will go to schools that correspond with your catchment zone. Hence, if there is a specific public school that you wish to send your child to, it is imperative to choose your accomodation accordingly.

When deciding if public schools are the right fit for your children, it is also worth considering whether or not the certificate earned would be accepted by tertiary institutions in their home country. For example, most public schools require their students to sit for the Higher School Certificate (HSC), and do not offer degrees like the globally-recognised International Baccalaureate (IB).

Private Schools (Catholic/ Independent Schools)

Due to the fact that private schools receive more funding than public schools, they are well equipped with more diverse facilities for students to enjoy. These can range from olympic-sized swimming pools to state-of-the-art dance studios and music rooms. This hence, would provide children with ample resources to hone their talents.

Private schools are also not required to follow a state-specific curriculum, and instead, have the freedom to create their own curricula so long as they meet certain standards. As such, students tend to be immersed in a more dynamic learning environment, and are able to receive an education that is more tailored to their individual needs.

However, this comes at a cost; and private school fees can range from $23,000 to $40,000 per year. Further, private schools tend to have a more rigorous admission process, where prospective students may be required to take numerous tests prior to being accepted into the cohort.

Lastly, the fact that majority of the private schools in Australia are rooted in catholic beliefs means that it is not uncommon for these schools to integrate religion into the daily curriculum. As such, this may be a serious consideration if you are uncomfortable with your children partaking in religious studies.


This article is part of the “Essential Guide to Moving to Australia” series. More articles in the series:

If you’re looking at Public Schools in Sydney, we have an interactive map showing the School Catchment Areas at https://liveable.co/schools