Choosing a School in Australia

Which school?

For most parents, this is a big decision at the best of times. But when you have just moved halfway across the world to a completely different country, how do you choose?

schoolAnd that’s not the only problem, here in Australia we have state schools, (which, confusingly, can also be referred to as public schools) Catholic schools and private schools. I’ll give you a link to a post with more information about that shortly, but for now, here’s what I think.

State vs Private

Many people, when they come to Australia,  feel that the best option for their child or children would be a private school. We were the same, we’d even put our name on the waiting list of a private school, even though our daughter was only 3 1/2 when we got here.

But then, once we had settled into the community, we discovered that the locals all loved the nearby state school. And when I say nearby, I mean 5 minutes walk. The private school, on the other hand, would have required a (minimum of) 45 minute round trip by car.

Oh, and we would have had to pay the fees. Again, more about those later.

Our daughter is now seven (well, as at July 2011) and she (and we) love the local state school. She comes out of there smiling everyday and looks forward to going in the morning. And when she does have to go to high school, the reputation of the one nearest to us is also really good.

So don’t feel you have to do go the private, state schools here in Australia are pretty good.

But how good?

The government set up a website where you can check the performance of all schools in Australia. I made a video about it….

To check out school performances for yourself, click on myschool.

More useful links:

I have several posts about schools….


Visa Assessment Service
{ 224 comments… add one }
  • Craig White September 10, 2019, 10:50 am |


    We are seeking to move to Sydney in a month. Will have 2 kids with me (one in kindy and one in Grade 5). Some questions.

    1. I may need to get them enrolled before my business sponsorship visa is processed. What is the situation with schooling if we are temporarily on tourist visas?

    2. We are concerned about wait lists at schools. We’ve heard that most public schools are not very cooperative or responsive until we are moved in the catchment area and can show that we have an address in the school’s vicinity. So that leaves us with the dilemma of having to move to an area and only then learn that that school had a waiting list.

    3. To avoid the stress and uncertainty of #2, would it be advisable to just enroll in a private school system?

    4. Are there any service providers that help make the ‘school hunt’ process easier for those who are no presently in the country?

    Thanks so much for any insight!

    • BobinOz September 11, 2019, 5:32 pm |

      Hi Craig, you have highlighted some difficult problems with schooling that are not easy to overcome. My knowledge in this area is limited, but I think you might struggle to get your children in school on a temporary tourist visa.

      I think you will need a Centrelink number, this is the human resources/welfare department in Australia, and as a tourist, I don’t think you can get registered.

      You may even struggle with a private school with this until you get a more permanent visa. As I say though, my knowledge in this area is limited, so it may be best to talk directly to the schools when you get here.

      You mentioned about private schools, it may be worth remembering that, depending on whatever visa you eventually come here on, you may not qualify for free state schooling in NSW. I think they now charge a flat fee of something like $8000 a year, so it may be worth looking into how much extra you would need to pay for a private school when the time comes.

      There is a website that can help you school hunt, I talk about it on my page called Which school? There are also some useful links at the bottom of that page that may help you.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Lisa January 18, 2020, 10:31 pm |

        Nine years ago, a relative of mine brought his family over for a year whilst he was on a temporary work visa. They were not eligible to receive free public school education and would have had to pay over $10K for their twins, so they enrolled them in an independent (ie. inexpensive private) school which charged $2K per child, which means they paid less than half of what they would have had to pay for the public school.

  • Pournima June 5, 2019, 9:16 pm |

    Hi Bob
    I’m from India n my husband is an Australian citizen by Grant. Currently he is working in Brisbane, and we have applied for my daughter Citizenship by descent. she will be 3 year old in August 2019. By the end of year we will be in Brisbane Australia. We are planning for our daughter education. Need your help for the same .. Which school is good for her and when should I take admissions. She will be 3 in August 2019. Private or public school is good for her . let me know

    • BobinOz June 6, 2019, 5:48 pm |

      That’s a big question and there is no simple answer, it’s a case of doing your research and finding which school would suit your child best. I explain how to do that in the video above and you can do it for yourself with the link just below that.

      We have some very good state schools here in Brisbane, which you will be able to see from the research by their results, and we also have some very good private schools.

      But going private isn’t a guarantee of getting a better education, we have some state schools that perform better than private schools. That’s why it’s important to do your research. If you click on the link, also above, to the page that is about what age children start school in Australia, you’ll be able to work out when your child will need to start.

  • Claudia Ze October 5, 2018, 8:40 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Many thanks for your incredibly helpful website.

    I’ve got a probably rather unusual question but am hoping someone will be able to help.

    We are home schooling our children and are likely to be given a choice where to live in Australia.

    I have tried to get my head around home schooling laws in Australia but still feel quite overwhelmed.

    Is there any chance anyone could tell us in which state(s) it is easiest to home educate in Australia?

    From what I have gathered so far, Victoria came up as a slightly easier option, however, I also read that laws are changing or have charged recently. (Also, Melbourne probably wouldn’t be our first choice as we hear the weather is similar to the UK… but if it was indeed by far easier than anywhere else, we should probably reconsider…)

    I would very greatly appreciate any thoughts on the subject. I must admit the thought to move scares me a bit, mainly because of the home schooling – we’ve had it quite easy in the UK, also with lots going on for home educators…

    Anyway, heartfelt thanks for your time.
    Warm regards

    • BobinOz October 8, 2018, 4:39 pm |

      This is a subject I know absolutely nothing about Claudia, so I simply cannot help. I did Google it and found an interesting website on the subject…

      But it’s probably the same website you have found, as it suggests Victoria is the easiest option. It would be great to hear from someone who lives here in Australia who has or is homeschooling, to see what they think.

      Can anybody help with this?

      • Claudia October 9, 2018, 10:10 pm |

        Thanks so much Bob. I didn’t have high hopes to get an answer but still thought it worth to give it a try.

        I have done some more research in the meantime, and whilst Victoria indeed seems the easiest option, we have come to the conclusion that we better not base our (big) decision on the homeschooling regulation process. Melbourne wouldn’t be our first choice, so it might indeed be worth putting some more effort into the registration process and end up somewhere we actually like…

        It doesn’t make it that much easier to make a choice about a place we’ve never been before – still loads to consider, but at least one thing less to worry about. And your website helps tremendously.

        Thanks again for taking the time to respond! Offering your experience and insights is a help to so many…

        All the best

        • BobinOz October 10, 2018, 6:58 pm |

          Glad to have helped Claudia and I agree, it’s not the best idea to base where you’re going to live on how easy it is to arrange homeschooling, so many more important factors to consider than that.

          Good luck with your search, I hope you find a place you fall in love with.

  • Juliette September 17, 2018, 5:51 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Thank you for sharing!
    I’m a subclass 489 visa holder, which gave me a four-year residence and work right. My goal is to apply for a permanant visa after I satisfy its requirements. One condition is that I commit to the particular state which provides with state sponsorship by living there for at least two years and working for at least one year. One thing is would it be treated as following the requirement if I work for a company in the State but the work would require me to travel and physically work in another State’s area like every 3 working days out of 5. Do you know whether this might be fine?

    • BobinOz September 17, 2018, 6:52 pm |

      Gosh, that’s a tough one. I don’t know what the answer is, the requirement simply states that you must “live, work and study in a specified region of Australia”. I assume you will be living within the state and if anyone in your family is studying, they will also do that within the state?

      The company you are going to work for are also in the state, so it is hard to imagine that this would cause a problem. As I say though, I can’t give you a definitive answer, and if you are concerned, and I can understand that you would be, maybe it would be best if you were to ask your case officer whether this is okay.

      Probably best to do that, otherwise you could face problems further down the line.

  • Deepa Yadav July 21, 2018, 2:39 pm |

    Hi Bob I am an Indian woman with two kids. I want to move Australia for teaching job. Kindly advise me actually I m graduate and did bechlor in education and also post graduate degree having and having teaching experience. Can I apply for teaching job.

    • BobinOz July 23, 2018, 6:25 pm |

      I’m pretty sure there will be some kind of process you would need to go through in order to be able to teach here in Australia. I would imagine you would need to find out if your qualifications are recognised here in Australia and if not, what you need to do to make that happen.

      I don’t know what that process is, but if you Google ‘how to become a teacher in Australia’, I’m sure you will get some advice. Good luck, Bob

      • N August 8, 2018, 9:38 pm |

        Hi Bob,
        We r coming to Adelaide in nov18. I have 2 kids of 10 and 18. Since we don’t yet have a permanent address, will it be possible to enroll in a public school for my younger daughter?
        We are also looking for furnished studios and prices seem very high…
        Am a financial controller and job prospects seem not brilliant. A few advices would be most welcome

        • BobinOz August 9, 2018, 6:48 pm |

          Australia isn’t brilliant for furnished places, you might be better off looking for something unfurnished and then buying some cheap furniture or even some secondhand stuff.

          My page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia will help you with your search.

          As far as I’m aware, if you are enrolling in a public school, it doesn’t matter where you live, you can enroll, they’d be happy to take your money. It’s state schools for which you normally need to live within a certain catchment area. Check with the school, I’m sure it will be okay.

          I’m afraid job opportunities are thin on the ground in Adelaide, they have been for a while. If you visit my page about Adelaide and have a look at the comments, that’s what a lot of people are talking about, how hard is to get a job.

          Good luck though, I hope it all works out.

  • Shivani Vij July 5, 2018, 6:15 am |

    Hi Bob! I am moving to Sydney on PR next week. I have a 5 year old with me and we are looking for schools for her. Would you be in a position to suggest if we should go for public or private schools? I was going through some webpges and got the impression that most public schools are over crowded and don’t have enough opportunities/ facilities and quality of education is poor too. Also about reputed private schools it is mentioned that students are snobbish and usually international students (non-whites) gets bullied. I am really confused what to do. I am moving from India. Please help!

    • BobinOz July 5, 2018, 9:18 pm |

      In my experience there aren’t any hard and fast rules like this, it’s not unusual for some state schools to perform better than some private schools. I’m not sure what the schools in Sydney are like, but here in Brisbane my daughter goes to a state school and there are only 26 children in the class.

      I don’t think that’s overcrowding and I believe she’s getting a very good education. As for bullying and racism, that was going on when I went to school 50 years ago in the UK and there is still a bit of it about these days.

      I don’t think Australia has a particular problem with it here though, but in the end is all down to choosing a good school, and the tools above will help you to do that. Whether you send your child to a public or private school is a matter for your choice, I don’t think one or the other will guarantee anything specific.

      • Tina December 19, 2018, 8:31 am |

        Hello Bob,
        My husbands job is talking about relocating our family from Texas USA. We would be living in Perth . My daughters are ages 13 and 15. Is there a cost for public schools ? How do the other kids react to kids from the US? So you think privet school would be better ? Are the schools more advanced then the US? Thank you so much for your time . Hope you can help . Also what is the best area to live in in Perth ? Have a good day thank you .

        • BobinOz December 19, 2018, 8:17 pm |

          Have a look at the additional links at the foot of the above article, two or three of them will help to answer your questions, as best as I can anyway. You will tell which ones by the titles.

          If you want to find out about what it’s like to live in the various areas of Perth, check out my page about Perth, and have a good read through of the comments. There’s lots of talk about the various suburbs.

          Good luck, Bob

  • renu June 28, 2018, 2:39 pm |

    Hey bob my son is 5 years from nepal i want to come australia for his further study..i have no idea what type of visa process of his is posibile or not ?can you help me

  • Elin January 31, 2018, 7:30 pm |

    Hello Bob,

    We are a family of 4 currently residing on a small island in Norway and looking for the next adventure. I am Norwegian but husband and children (ages 7 and 11) are Americans. Our children have been here for a year to learn Norwegian. We are thinking about taking the children to Australia next to go to school there for a year. Are there any American schools in Australia? What schools would provide a similar curriculum? Is it possible to stay in Australia for a year while the children attend school? I am a stay at home mom and husband works in US. We have been looking at the Adelaide area, but honestly don’t really know what area we would like as we have never been before. We are not big city people though. I would appreciate any advice! Thanks, Elin

    • BobinOz February 1, 2018, 4:55 pm |

      American schools are pretty rare in Australia, in fact the US Embassy only has one listed, in Western Australia. Whether or not you can come here for just one year and have your children attend school would be down to whether or not you could secure a visa.

      I don’t give out advice about visas and eligibility, that’s the job of MARA registered migration agents and that’s who you would need to speak to. See my page about Migration agents.

  • Nedu January 17, 2018, 12:47 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    My Daughter is 16 years old and studying 10th grade in India and completing the 10th grade by May 2018. I am working here on 457 VISA. I would like enrol her for 11th grade. How do we go about it. She is American citizen as well


  • AK January 8, 2018, 5:01 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Am very impressed with the comprehensive information on your blog about life in Australia.
    We are Australian citizens currently residing overseas. We would like to move back to Aus and are looking at Melbourne/ Sydney. The main factor in choosing a suburb would be the school. Our daughter is 11 and will be going to grade 7 there. I would ideally like to secure admission in a well ranked (preferably public) school there before choosing a particular area to live in. Is that possible? How? Please advise. Thanks.

    • BobinOz January 8, 2018, 6:53 pm |

      Thank you, I’m glad you like my website.

      My understanding is that any public school has an obligation to provide a place to a child who lives within that schools catchment area. So, what you need to do is decide which school you want your daughter to go to, then find out the catchment area that school covers and then make sure you rent or buy your home within that catchment area.

      Just to be sure, it would be a good idea to contact your chosen school to doublecheck that they will offer an immediate place when you arrive. Hope that helps, Bob

      • AK January 9, 2018, 4:47 am |

        Thanks so much for your prompt reply, Bob. That is my understanding too, but from some other stuff that I’ve read it seems that some of the good schools are so popular that you have to be a resident of the area for sometime before they will enroll. Am just wondering as someone wanting to enroll mid-school in grade 7 to a good school, what is the best way to approach? Are there any entrance exams? I will try and contact the school, but I do hope they will entertain phone calls. Thanks a lot for your help.

        • BobinOz January 9, 2018, 8:52 pm |

          I wasn’t aware of that rule for some schools about how long you’ve lived in the catchment area, but it does sort of make sense. I’ve never heard of anyone having to take entrance exams either, but I suppose there’s nothing stopping an individual school doing something like this if they wanted, maybe?

          I’m sure schools would be happy to talk on the telephone though and I’m sure you will find them very helpful. If they are not helpful, why would you want to send your child there? It’s difficult though, choosing a school, but I do hope it works out well for you.

          When we came here, our daughter was just three, so she started proper school here at the beginning of prep year, so we didn’t have these issues. If anyone reading this has been through a similar situation as AK, we would love to hear some advice from you.


  • joseph December 4, 2017, 5:45 am |

    Dear sir,
    i am moving to sydney in june, do i have to enroll my kid ( 9 years old) directly in a school, (knowing that he would have just finished his year in his country), or he can wait till next january to enroll in the new grade ?

    Thank you

    • BobinOz December 4, 2017, 5:46 pm |

      I’d get him enrolled into school straightaway, the sooner he makes new friends the better and it will definitely help him to settle in. Six months would be a long time to not be going to school.

      The grade he goes into depends on which month he was born in and his age, there is a link towards the bottom of the above article to a post that will help you work that out.

      Good luck, Bob

    • Tina January 10, 2018, 7:04 am |

      Hi Joseph,

      I personally would give him a little time for actually missing the school and get bored at home. It depends on his personality. School will not ask you when or why. They’ll just have him and in my experience will be very friendly and undestanding. Cheers!

  • Tahir July 21, 2017, 11:03 pm |

    hi i want my son study in australia sydney he is 6 year old from out side australia please suggest any low fees school for my son and how much percent chance of cisa in age of 6 year with his mother accompany

    • BobinOz July 24, 2017, 6:59 pm |

      This isn’t a question I can answer, but you may get help from my expert, see my page about Student Visas.

  • Rachna Mirchandani June 9, 2017, 7:56 am |

    Are there Indian schools in Canberra?

    • BobinOz June 9, 2017, 9:32 pm |

      Canberra Hindi School
      Phone : 0423 779 820

      You’re welcome 🙂

  • Fatims Mehdi February 23, 2017, 5:24 am |

    Hi bob
    Thank you for your website, it helps a lot. We are thinking to move to Melbourne in couple of months. We have two boys age 12 and 14. The main purpose of moving is better education and cheaper properties. We live in Auckland.
    We are thinking about Jubilee. Any comments whether it is a good area? Is it near to the amenities? What school?
    Or please suggest any other suburbs?
    Ali and Fatima

    • Mark February 23, 2017, 6:37 am |

      Hi Jubilee seems ti be a development f new houses in Wyndham Vale Not sure if its suburb in its own right but its growing or rather building fast…. The estate in question is fairly new new so you may have to wait for a year or two for the estate’s amenities like the childcare and shopping center to come up. The train station is a 5 minute drive and the Manor Lakes shopping center is near the station. There are a couple of medical centers within 5 or 6km radius and there is a childcare near the train station.
      There is a primary school from prep to 12 and an independent primary school nearby.but you will need a high school and I’ve no idea where the best one of these is but a google search should help. it will certainly involve a drive. You could also look at Manor Lakes or Lollipop Hill if you are looking for an established estate instead…otehr than thats tell us what your looking for budget, area, style etc etc or being near anywhere, we can widen the suggestions

  • LaDell February 1, 2017, 5:36 am |

    Hi Bob please could i ask for your adviçe on the local schools .I have four boys age 7/8/12/15 .I feel a good secondary school is important frist for my 15year old . Were moving to around the gold cost in May this year I would like to move for the school and then find somewhere to live .l feel the most important is to find a area where the boys will easy fit in and make new friendships . I will be looking for work in early years ,, schools and childrens day care .
    we would like somewhere not too busy but where my children can meet their friends in a really friendly safe suburb .with a good school .
    Any ideas would be much appreciate .We want to find a place where we will be happy for a long time .. This is a new start for us all Im free to settle in any area so my starting point is with the children’s happiness .Im only looking at state schools can’t afford four kids in private .I agree with you some state schools are as good as private plus its all so how the childern are encourage at home , A happy child will always do well .
    Kind Regards

    • BobinOz February 2, 2017, 12:19 am |

      Hi LaDell

      I’m afraid I simply don’t know the schools on Gold Coast well enough to advise, but if you watch the video above it will show you how to research the performances of schools in the area so you can pick a decent school.

      Picking one where the boys will fit in easily and make new friends is pretty much impossible, that sort of thing is all down to luck. It might also be worth asking about the schools on my page about Gold Coast, somebody with local knowledge might be able to help you out.

      What I can tell you for sure though, is our daughter was three years old when we came to Australia, she’s going to be 13 next month, she has been happy at both the schools she has been to hear, junior and senior. She absolutely loves school, always comes home with a smile on her face, so you have a chance 🙂

  • sheroo January 30, 2017, 9:18 pm |

    Hi Bob
    We might be moving to brisbane at the end of the year, we are staring work at the Italian Consulate, which i believe is 199 st Georges street.
    We have a son who will be 7 years old, i wanted to know which are the best primary schools around that area? i don’t think we would be living too far off from the Consulate.
    He is currently in an american school system. I honestly would prefer an IB accredited school, are there any in the area?
    Thank you so much for all your help.

    • BobinOz January 31, 2017, 6:27 pm |

      That’s a tough one, I simply don’t know enough about the primary schools in the area to answer you. All you can do is watch the video on this page and then research the schools in the area to compare performances.

      Keep an eye on this thread though, maybe somebody who does know the schools in the area will be able to give you some local advice. Good luck with your move, Bob

  • S Kumar January 25, 2017, 12:22 am |

    Hi Bob
    Your blog has wealth of info for would be immigrants coming to Oz and the replies and the discussion at the end of each blog is very useful. congratulations and well done to you!

    Could some one tell me if the kids going to country town private schools will be disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in the big cities particularly when it comes to joining the sought after degrees including medicine and dentistry.
    Apologies if this is a repetition of what has been discussed already.

    • Mark January 25, 2017, 6:24 am |

      Assuming we are comparing like with like eg country town private schools with near city private schools, Id say there is minimal difference but probably some, that does not mean disadvantage, just difference.. A near city school can have access to more rounded excursions eg a visits to the museum, swimming etc A country school will have more ready acces to farm based items and so on . A country school may have mixed classes even taught baccalaureate style a near city school more age specific classes, as they are private its unlikely class sizes will be much different. A near city school will have more access to choice of staff, a country one more limited but that doesn’t mean the teacher is better

      • Suresh January 26, 2017, 10:30 am |

        Hi Mark
        Thanks very much for your reply

        • Lisa January 18, 2020, 10:16 pm |

          Hi, I realise you posed this question quite a while ago, but I’ve only just come across this web page & thought I’d comment that most Med & Dentistry schools actually give special consideration to applicants from rural & regional areas. They have special forms which need to be signed by the school principal and/or post office master. The longer the student has lived in these regions, the more likely it will impact (favourably) on their application, presumably because the selection panel members recognise students in rural areas have less opportunities so probably are smarter and/or worked harder to attain the same level of achievements and also because they hope students who’ve lived a significant amount of time in a rural area are more likely to return to provide these services which are much needed in these areas.

          • BobinOz January 20, 2020, 7:44 pm |

            Interesting, I never knew. Thanks for telling us about this Lisa, cheers, Bob

  • Steve January 14, 2017, 3:16 am |

    Hi Bob,
    My wife and I have decided we can’t handle the cold weather of England any longer! I am an Aussie Citizen as are my 3 kids! My wife and I are looking to move to the Brisbane area, our 3 kids are in secondary school here and we were wondering what high schools you (or Mrs Bob) can recommend we look at? Still got to apply for a visa for my wife and convince my 2 daughters it would be a great idea to move! So could be a year or so off still!

    • BobinOz January 14, 2017, 9:11 pm |

      Can’t say I blame you, and if it’s good weather you are after, then Brisbane is a great choice. Kenmore State School has a very good reputation here, but we also have some very good private schools if you want to pay for their education.

      You can research school performances from my page called Which school? I have a video to show you how to do it. Good luck, Bob

    • Anna March 22, 2017, 5:15 pm |

      Hi in Brisbane I would highly recommend kelvin grove state school. It is excellent. We were very sad to have to leave it and move to Melbourne for work. It really is great, don’t be put off by the large size it doesn’t feel that big when you are there as it is incredibly well organised and structured.

      • BobinOz March 23, 2017, 8:15 pm |

        That’s good to know Anna, thanks for the recommendation. My knowledge of Brisbane schools and what they are really like is very limited, I can only speak of the schools I have had experience with. So it’s great to have you take the time to chip in with your view as well.

  • mercy January 8, 2017, 5:23 pm |

    Hi bob,im a student in nairobi kenya .I would like to come and continue my education there so as living but i have no idea where i should start .id like to know one of the best places to live in like to be a pilot so id like a place where a school that offers aviation is available.

    • BobinOz January 11, 2017, 9:14 pm |

      There is no ‘best places’ in Australia to live, but you can read a roundup of some of our major cities on my page A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia which you may find useful.

      I have no idea where our aviation schools are, I think you might need to Google that first to narrow down your search.

  • kevin January 4, 2017, 1:37 am |

    me and my family are looking at moving to Australia initially on a subclass 601 visa, then once we are there changing over to a 457 sponsorship visa. can our two kids attend school as soon as we get there on the 601 visa?

    • BobinOz January 4, 2017, 4:40 pm |

      I believe that is some kind of temporary business visa? I don’t know what the full terms and conditions are on that one, you would need to check with the immigration department to find out what you are allowed and are not allowed to do on that visa.

      The information is readily available online, to find out how to access it you can watch a video on my page about Visas.

  • john December 5, 2016, 11:00 pm |

    hi bob
    I am planning to move to Australia in march and cannot decide on which state
    I have worked in various roles in the banking and finance field
    I am thinking of either Brisbane or Sydney
    first would be Brisbane and then Sydney
    I am worked about my job prospects….it is easy to find jobs for 45 to 50 K PA

    • BobinOz December 6, 2016, 10:23 pm |

      Brisbane, just so that you know, is significantly cheaper to live in than Sydney. Sydney though would probably have more job opportunities for banking and finance. It’s not easy getting a job here at the moment, in fact it’s really quite hard, especially for someone newly arriving in this country.

      You can search for job opportunities on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and I think it would be worth you reading the following post…

      And in particular the comments just to see how difficult it is these days to land a job here. Good luck, Bob

  • Yinkz November 25, 2016, 12:12 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Your website is not only helpful but very informative.
    My family is relocating to Australia from Nigeria in the summer of 2017 and a friend recommended Perth. I am a lawyer and so is my wife. We have three kids (10, 6 and 3). Reading all the comments is really amazing. However what are the job prospects for my wife and i in Perth as lawyers and schools for my kids being immigrants? looking forward to your reply.
    Best regards


    • BobinOz November 25, 2016, 9:40 pm |

      Thank you, glad to hear my website has been helpful. You are both lawyers? Gosh, I’d hate to be in your house when you are having an argument 🙂

      I’m afraid the job market here is not so good at the moment, and Perth is probably struggling more than most of our other cities. Have a read of this post and in particular the comments…

      It’s even harder for new migrants arriving here to secure work because many employers prefer people with what they call ‘local experience’. That means having already worked here in Australia.

      So there will be no guarantees you will get a job, having said that I don’t know what the market is like for lawyers. You can research current opportunities on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Schools are more than used to accepting new immigrants, so that should not be a problem, just use the information on this page to select a suitable school.

      Hope that helps, and good luck, Bob

  • Emily November 15, 2016, 2:15 pm |

    I have a son with autism who will be starting school next year. What kind of services do schools in Australia have for children with special needs?

    • BobinOz November 15, 2016, 8:42 pm |

      I wish I could help Emily, but I’m afraid I just don’t know enough about this subject to give you a meaningful answer. All I can tell you is that I can remember seeing some not so good headlines about Australia failing those with special needs when it comes to education.

      As I have no experience with this, I couldn’t tell you whether this kind of talk is justified or not. I can understand your concern though, so it may be best if you try and search for some kind of Australian autism forum or website so you can look into this further.

      Other than that, maybe someone who does know about this will see your question here and let you know what they think. Good luck though, Bob

  • frank wia October 9, 2016, 9:22 pm |

    I am looking for a private school in Brisbane (sun shine coast) and I have two boys they will be attending it next year. Day students

    • BobinOz October 10, 2016, 5:50 pm |

      Brisbane and Sunshine Coast are two different places and without knowing the ages of your boys it’s impossible for anybody to help you with this. Your best bet is to watch the video and follow the advice to help you research schools in the area you’re looking at.

  • Louise O'Brien September 13, 2016, 2:55 pm | School EasyPay is a cost efficient and secure way for schools to collect tuition and other fees and is also preferred by parents.

    • BobinOz September 13, 2016, 11:32 pm |

      I watched your video, looks like a good idea to me, but how do you earn your money? Do you take a cut out of the schools or the parents paying the fees? I think that something that anybody considering using this system would need to know.

  • Sophia August 31, 2016, 12:23 am |

    Hi Bob ,
    We are planning to immigrate to Melbourne by December.
    Luckily I got through your site as I am confused regarding schooling for my 7 year old son.
    He is in class 2 nd here which grade will he be admitted in Australia and my second query was that I was preferring Catholic school .
    Will it be a right choice other than state schools.
    Many thanks for the efforts you are taking.

    • BobinOz August 31, 2016, 4:50 pm |

      I’m glad you found my website as well. Yes, we have some very good Catholic schools, but again, it always pays to check how each school you are considering is performing by using the above described website. Catholic schools are not free, so you will have to pay school fees and they vary massively from school to school.

      As for what grade your child will go into, check my link above towards the bottom of that list of ‘More useful links’ called Find out At What Age Do Children Start School in Australia? It depends on when your son’s birthday is, you can work out when he would have started school and then work through the grades to see which one he will belong in when you arrive. Good luck, Bob

  • ThyFere August 4, 2016, 6:25 pm |


    Great article! I settled my family in Melbourne 3 years ago, but I kept working in the Middle East. Now, finally, I am also moving to Australia. Currently, my son is going to local Public, and as you have also mentioned, he looks happy every day, he has never complained.

    Now, I don’t know where I will get the job. Right now, Epping Views Primary school may be not in any impressive list but they are doing good and satisfying their kids very well.

    Now, wherever we go, we will have to choose any secondary school. So, do you believe that some suburbs really have better schools than others that can make my son better human being and contributor to the society? If yes, which are those suburbs?

    • BobinOz August 4, 2016, 8:55 pm |

      Glad to hear your family have settled well in Melbourne, I hope you do too when you arrive. As for schools, personally I believe a smart kid will do well in any school. But I also believe that some schools are better than others, and that’s going to be true in secondary schools for sure.

      As luck would have it, it certainly wasn’t by design, it turns out that I live in a suburb that is in the catchment area of the very good state secondary school. We had considered sending our daughter to a private school, but after looking into it thoroughly we couldn’t see the advantage, none of them performed significantly better than this highly regarded state school.

      In fact I spoke to a state school teacher some years ago who actually moved into this catchment area just so that their child, who was getting to secondary school age, could go to this school.

      So better schools are about, but I don’t know enough about the schools where you live to know which ones they are. It’s worth researching it though, and the video above along with the article explains how you can do that. It’s also worth asking people where you live, can’t beat a bit of local knowledge. Good luck, Bob

  • Rsjshekar July 5, 2016, 7:54 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I am moving into gold coast, Queensland, this oct 2016, I have a daughter who is 13. & a son who will turn 8 in Aug 2016, when should I enrol them into school?

    How about schools in gold coast, Queensland? Would my children suffer any sort of bullying?

    • BobinOz July 6, 2016, 12:44 am |

      As soon as you know which schools you want to send your children to you should get in touch directly with them and ask them how to proceed. I’m sure they will be very helpful.

      I couldn’t tell you whether your children would be bullied at school or not, but again, this is something you can discuss directly with those schools if you have any concerns about it. Good luck, Bob

    • Ritu September 18, 2016, 7:03 pm |

      Gold coast is a wonderful place. The school year starts in January here so, depending on where you are moving from it’s probably going to be a tricky one. The schools would let you know after assessing the kids.
      There are many options for both public and private schooling there. Have you decided on an area to live in? If you have some schools you are considering I could put in my 2 cents 🙂

      good luck!

  • Nisha June 29, 2016, 3:00 am |

    Well I am a 17 girl in Botswana I want to study in Sydney university next year can u please check for me what’s required of me to make it into the school for MBBS

    • BobinOz June 29, 2016, 10:15 pm |

      Well, I have no idea what’s required, but my student expert knows all about this kind of thing. Check out my page about Student Visas.

  • Camila June 26, 2016, 11:21 am |

    Hello Bob,

    Thanks for your post, it is really helpful 😉 . I am moving to Austrália in 6 months and I have a 3-years-old girl that does not speak english (yet). Our destiny is Western Austrália and I have heard that the bullying level is raised in public schools rather than private ones. I am very concerned as my daughter is not familiar with the language and she will have to enrol a pre-school or day care (I’m impressed with the high fees). My question is do you have any opinion on what type of school would be better for her taking into consideration her language barrier?!!!

    Kindest Regards

    • BobinOz June 26, 2016, 11:13 pm |

      Check out the following post…

      There is a section on schools, it gives some statistics about bullying that you may find helpful. Personally, I think bullying starts a bit later in life and by that time your daughter will be speaking perfect English. So I don’t think the language barrier will be much of a problem.

      I can’t specifically help you with schools in Western Australia, I simply have no idea living here in Brisbane. Hopefully somebody else who knows that area well will be able to help you out. Good luck, Bob

  • Ernesto Isaaccura June 14, 2016, 4:12 am |

    Hi Bob, how are you doing?

    Congratulations on your blog and thank you, it has been very helpful.

    Me and some members of my family are moving to Australia next September, my sister has a kid in school age and we are trying to enrol him at school, thing is that we do not have a residential address in Australia yet, but when you are filling the form it is an obligatory field, how could we have an address yet if we haven’t even arrived or gotten a visa? Is there a way around this problem you are aware of? Any kind of help would be much appreciated…

    Thank you in advance and sorry for the poor English!

    Have a nice day!

    • Ernesto Isaaccura June 14, 2016, 4:47 am |

      I forgot to mention we are all coming on a student visa (572), therefore it is demanded to attach the confirmation that states that you have enrolled your kids in school in order to submit your visa application. But first you need an address… So ist is a vicious circle, as you can see.. Hope you can help!

      • BobinOz June 14, 2016, 6:58 pm |

        If you know which catchment area you are going to move to, and therefore which school you want the child to go to, then I would speak directly to that school about how to handle it.

        I’m sure they would probably accept a ‘to be arranged’ for the address in view of the circumstances, but I think they will need confirmation that you will be living in the catchment area.

        Hope that helps, Bob

        • Ernesto Isaaccura June 14, 2016, 9:45 pm |

          Yes, thing is that school enrolment for overseas students dependants is arranged through the Victoria education website, not particularly with each school, therefore I can not go any further, because I am stuck one step behind the “direct – contact – step” if you know what I mean (protocol wise)… However I will still try to get help from the schools I chose… Thank you very much for your time and quick response!

          Good luck!

          • BobinOz June 15, 2016, 8:40 pm |

            Well, I am sure there will be an easy solution to this, you won’t be the first person looking to place your child into a school without a permanent Australian address.

            The education department in Victoria will have come across this before, so just explain the situation to them and I’m sure they will help you out. Good luck, Bob

  • Jennifer David Wau May 24, 2016, 3:31 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Can you please distinguish between State, Catholic and Public Schools in Australia and what are the requirements?


    • BobinOz May 24, 2016, 5:49 pm |

      Yes, I already have. Please click on the second link under the more useful links header to read my article about state and private schools, which also covers Catholic schools.

      Many thanks, Bob

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