Public Schools – Adelaide
Public Schools in Adelaide have an excellent reputation. In recent years there has been a steady increase in International student attendance due to excellent support services such the improved English Language learning facilities. The affordability of school fees and quality control of international student education is also an attraction for International parents.
Most children begin school in Australia at age 5, however the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) in South Australia require compulsory school attendance from 6 to 15 years of age.
Government schools, or public schools as they known here in Australia, typically have Primary and Secondary/ High School campuses located separately. School times are generally from 9am through to 3.30pm, with the academic year beginning in late January for 4 terms of about 9-10 weeks each. Holidays usually range from 2-6 weeks and are at the end of each term. Public schools in Adelaide, if not already on holiday, also break for public holidays such as the Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day.
Most suburbs in Adelaide have public schools but when choosing a school you should consider public transport access, English language support, after hours care and availability of extra curricular activities such as sport and music.
After hours care is provided for a few dollars by some Primary schools from 7.30 to 9am and after school from 3.30 to 6pm. Vacation care is also offered during school holidays at a day rate of AU$20-30.
In Adelaide there are a number of public schools offering the New Arrivals Program (NAP) for children born overseas who speak little or no English. The program usually lasts for one year.
Tuition fee’s for International Students range from $3,500 for primary school children (reception to Year 7) to $4,500 for secondary school children (Year 8 to Year 12). Both local and international parents are required to also pay a school materials services fee each year. This helps pay for books, pens and other school materials – the fee ranges from $200 for Primary students and $600 for Secondary/ High School students.
The facilities found in Adelaide public schools are often excellent. Sporting grounds and equipment are well maintained with many sporting activities on offer including football and netball amongst others. Music, the arts and IT are also offered and well catered for.