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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Our school students rate amongst the best educated in Australia. You can give your children the best start in life in Canberra.

Schooling in Canberra

We have a very strong and successful education system. Our children go through 5 stages in their schooling:

  • preschool
  • preparatory (or kindergarten)
  • primary school
  • secondary school (or high school)
  • senior secondary school (or college)

Students can attend either Government or non-Government schools. We have a diverse community and our non-Government schools cater for this well. All schools follow the Australian curriculum, but their educational approaches can vary. Parents often select a school based on:

  • the needs of their child
  • the style of education a school offers
  • particular strengths or specialities in a school
  • the family’s religious beliefs
  • finances

English as a Second Language (ESL)

All Government and some non‑Government schools provide English as a Second Language (ESL) and other tailored programs. Students may also attend smaller classes, particularly in areas of science, mathematics and languages.

Canberra students get great results

It’s compulsory for children to be enrolled in school from age 6. They must be in full-time education until they complete Year 10 or turn 17, whichever comes first.

Our students perform very highly. More than 80% of students in Canberra stay at school until they complete Year 12. Tertiary institutions have noted that Canberra’s international students score an average of 15–20 points higher on their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) than in other states and territories.

Find out more about Canberra’s:

Education Directorate

The ACT Government Education Directorate has more information for international school students, including a pre-departure guide.

Find out more

Public school fee waiver

International Higher Degree by Research students are eligible to have Government school fees waived for their school-aged dependent children.

Learn more about your eligibility and requirements for the public school fee waiver.

Learn more about Australia’s school system.

Interested in studying in Canberra?

Contact the Study Canberra team for information and advice