Education in Western Australia


Western Australia’s Department of Education is committed to learning achievements for every student to be accelerated, with priorities on high quality teaching, success for all students, effective leadership and strong governance and support.

Who needs to enrol?

Parents need to apply to enrol your children in public school for 2018 if they are:
*    starting Kindergarten – 4 years old by 30 June 2018
*    starting Pre-primary, the first year of compulsory school – 5 years old by 30 June 2018
*    starting Year 7, the first year of secondary school
*    changing schools.

All children of compulsory school age must be enrolled in school and attend every day – this is the law.

In Western Australia, children can start their education in Kindergarten, however compulsory schooling starts the following year in Pre-primary.

All children must attend school up until they are 16 years old. Sixteen and 17 year olds must be enrolled in school or a training organisation, be employed or be in a combination of school/training/employment.

Every child from Pre-primary to Year 12 is guaranteed a place at their local public school. To enrol your child in public school for 2018, visit your local school as soon as possible.

Enrolling your children if they are changing schools or starting school in Western Australia for the first time are considered to be new enrolments, and parents will need to re-enrol your children if they change schools.

All children of compulsory school age (Pre-primary to Year 12) are guaranteed places in their local schools.


Although attendance at kindergarten is not compulsory most children attend because parents understand that it helps give their child the best start to school. Kindergarten is part-time, offering 15 hours each week.


Pre-primary is the first compulsory year of schooling, and your child will attend five full days a week. Children usually attend the school closest to where they live. Most schools start between 8.30am and 9.00am and finish between 2.30pm and 3.00pm.

Years 1 To 6

In the early years of primary school the main focus is on literacy and numeracy so that students learn to read and write, and understand mathematics. Students also develop knowledge and skills in science and technology through programs which build on their natural curiosity and inquiring minds.


Secondary school starts at Year 7 with most children beginning during the year they turn 12. The school leaving age is 17 years.

Students in Year 11 and 12 can start an apprenticeship or traineeship while still at school. Studying for the Western Australia Certificate of Education can be combined with training and work. There are three study options: allowing the student to try out different jobs in an industry they are interested in which can progress to an apprenticeship; completing a traineeship qualification while still at school; or starting apprenticeship training on a part-time basis at school which can be continued full-time after leaving school.


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