Secondary school or high school education starts at around 12 years of year to 16 to 17 years of age. Some schools are divided into ‘junior” and “senior’ schools.
Most international students who come to Australia for secondary education will enrol in Years 11 and 12, usually with the intention to continue your studies at an Australian institution after completing your secondary school education. On completion of Year 12, you will be awarded with a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. In Australia, each State gives this award a different name, but they all refer to the same level of education and are mutually recognised by all States.
There are 2 types of secondary schools under the Australian school system. They are Government Schools and Independent Schools.
Government Schools (Public)
Government schools are regulated by a centralised Government body and falls under the authority of the State Department of Education. They have a similar curriculum as an independent school but without a religious denomination.
Independent Schools (Private)
Independent schools operate separately from Government administration and their curriculum are often supported by a religious denomination. However, they also have to adhere to Government standards and regulations, similar to government schools. Funding is primarily from the school’s administration and the school is controlled by a school board. Independent schools may also offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) along with a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.