Moving to another country is a big change, not only for you, but also for your children. One way to smoothen this process is by choosing the right school for your child’s needs. However, the Australian school system differs widely from the Turkish one. To help you make this importance decision, we would like to give you an overview of the schooling options in Australia. The school system Compulsory education starts at six years old, however, the children normally attend a foundation year, normally called Preparatory year, when they are five. Students stay in the primary school until Year 6 and then they move to secondary school (Years 7-12). In addition to this, there are non-compulsory options for children aged younger than five. These include pre-school, long day care centers, occasional care or family day care. Pre-schools follow a planned educational program (including language, literacy and numeracy skills development), while long day centers accept younger children (from some months after birth until five years old) and they offer extended opening hours compared with the pre-schools (while pre-schools are normally opened between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, long day care centers opened can be opened between 7:30 AM and 6:00 PM). School options Differently from Turkey, in Australia, there are 3 main education providers: - The State government system (state schools) - Catholic education system (private schools) - Independent school system (private schools) National guidelines are followed not only by state schools, but also by most of the catholic and independent schools providers. Most of the schools are co-educational and the independent schools are mainly found in the most populated areas. Independent schools include a great diverse group of schools which can have religious or non-religious affiliations and which also include international schools following the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. However, notice the opportunities to attend IB schools are restricted by their limited numbers. School life Holidays: In contrast to the northern hemisphere, in Australia, the school year runs from end January until mid-December. There are two weeks of holidays during April (Easter, autumn in Australia), June/July (winter) and September/October (spring) and the main holidays take place in December/January lasting between six to eight weeks. Sports: There is great emphasis placed on sport in Australia and most students participate in sport at school at least one day each week. In primary school, this is generally organised within school hours but in high school and particularly at private school, sport is often compulsory with competitions held on Saturday. Uniforms: Most schools also expect students to wear a uniform, including state schools. The uniforms are unique for each school and have an additional cost. In the primary schools, the uniforms include a hat, due to the high skin cancer risk in the country. You can find more information about education in Australia and the school enrolment in our Australia Education Guide or you can contact one of our relocation consultants.