Education Systems in Australian High Schools

Education & Development Blog

The education system in Australia divides post primary education in to secondary (high school) and senior secondary. There is great focus on studying English and Mathematics as core subjects coupled with extra-curricular activities.If you are selecting the best institution to send your child and want to find out which education systems are available, the information below can be a start.

General Information 

Government run (public) boarding high schools are fewer than independently funded (private) institutions. For special needs children, there are special education curriculums even within mainstream institutions. This ensures no one is left out.

Most schools use remedial classes to cater for the different learning abilities of the children. There are those with specialized programs in sports or the arts for gifted children. International students can also study in Australian high schools.

National Curriculum Framework

All public and majority of the high schools have adopted the national curriculum framework. Each state and territory, however, implements it with slight adjustments on delivery and organization. This curriculum is gradually being developed and applied across schools in the country. Currently the curriculum is following a collaborative and cooperative learning method.

In this approach, students are divided into small groups where they learn while working on a selected structured activity. Both the individual and the group are assessed on their work. The aim is to encourage the children to work as a team. In such groups, they share strengths while developing weaker skills. Their interpersonal skills grow as well since they have to learn how to handle conflicts.  In this system it is believed that teachers too become learners in the process.

Steiner Education

There is a wide network of Steiner/Waldorf schools in Australia. This is an internationally recognized system of learning. The Australian institutions using this system have come up with the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework which has made it gain accreditation from ACARA, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.

This system of education focusses on the development of critical reasoning as well as empathic understanding for adolescents in secondary education.

The Montessori Program

The Montessori Australia Foundation is also accredited by ACARA as an alternative national curriculum framework. This means that it aligns with the guidelines and principles that shape the Australian curriculum. The curriculum stresses on critical thinking and reevaluation as well as intercultural awareness.

International Baccalaureate

There are Australian parents who have opted for the International Baccalaureate's MYP system for their high school age children. This program is made up of a number of subject groups. These are:

  • Individuals and societies
  • Mathematics
  • Design
  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Science
  • Physical and health education

Every year, the students in this program must take part in one or more collaboratively planned unit that covers numerous disciplines and should involve at least two of the subject groups. 


19 May 2016

Choosing whether to go to private or public school

I always thought that I would send my kids to local public schools like I had attended. However, when I sent them to the local school it was pretty obvious that it wasn't right for them. It was really hard to see how much they struggled at school and how upset they were when they came home every afternoon upset. My kids are much happier now that they are attending a private school with more resources and some extra support from the teacher. This blog is for other parents looking to find a school that their kids can succeed at, no matter the school they choose.