Education in the ACT


In the ACT children are enrolled in school from age 6. Students are required to participate in full-time education until they complete Year 10, and then participate full-time in education, training or employment until completing Year 12 or equivalent, or reaching 17 years of age.

Starting School

Primary schools in the ACT offer child centred early childhood programs in preschool settings and high quality primary school education.  Both short and long day sessions (to a maximum of twelve hours per week) are available in the year prior to Kindergarten. Children must be four years of age on or before 30 April to enrol in a preschool program.

Children who are enrolling in an ACT Public Primary School for the first time at Kindergarten must be five years of age on or before 30 April.

High Schools

High school education is available from Years 7-10.  ACT high schools are dynamic, innovative and supportive learning communities that provide challenging education programs and pastoral care.

At the completion of Year 10 students in the Australian Capital Territory may proceed to a secondary college. Enrolment for secondary colleges commences in September of each year. There is a very high retention rate in the ACT from Year 10 to Years 11 and 12 as secondary colleges have proved to be effective in preparing young people for both work and further education.

Senior Secondary Colleges

The ACT’s senior secondary colleges cater for students in Years 11 & 12.  The ACT college system sets a national standard in senior secondary education and includes tertiary pre-entry curriculum from the ANU and the University of Canberra.


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