Moving to Australia? Here’s how to make sure your kids go to the best school possible.
Finding a good school for your children can be difficult enough in your own country, but if you’re planning to move to Australia, it can be even more challenging. There’s already plenty to do whether it’s making sure your Visa is in shape, finding a job and settling into a new area. So how can you make sure your kids get the best school available?
About Australian Schools
The basic model for Australian schools is not too different from our own. There are state schools (also called public schools), private schools, for which you pay, and faith schools. Many people moving to Australia pick a private school for their children if they can afford it. This offers a slightly more sheltered and comfortable introduction, and will feel easier at first.
Of course, not everyone will be able to afford the fees which can be quite high. Some school fees can total as much as $30,000 a year so you’ll need to be on a very good wage to afford them.
Besides, even if you can afford it, you might want to choose a state school as a way of integrating more seamlessly with local children. Coming to Australia as an immigrant can be isolating so anything you can do to blend in with the local community will help you feel at home more quickly.
This is a particularly good idea if the local school is particularly good. For example, you might arrive and find that all the locals really love their state school. It’s a chance to save some money while ensuring your children still get a good education.
In general the Australian state school education is pretty good, but standards do, of course, vary. However, you can check the performance stats of a school by logging onto sites such as www.myschool.edu.au. This lists all the performance stats of state schools in Australia.
This is also a good way to compare the local state school with a private school. Of course, we’re all used to the basic calculation we make with state schools versus private – you’ll have to pay more but you’ll get a better standard of education. That’s the theory but it’s not necessarily the practice. By using the MySchools site, you can assess the state schools versus the private equivalent and decide whether it’s worth the extra money.
You can also search the area you’re planning to move to and see all the schools you might choose. It’s a chance to see what it looks like, and if you think it would be a good place to be.
Paying for education
State schools offer a free education, but this might not be the case if you’re there on some temporary Visas. If so, fees could apply, so it’s worth knowing this in advance. You can try finding somewhere which will not impose the fees or has relatively low fees for state tuition.
Overall, the process can look more daunting than it is. As long as you do your research and dig into the background, you’ll have a great chance of finding a school to suit your needs.