The school system in Western Australia includes kindergarten, pre-primary, primary and secondary (high school) education.

The system is divided into two stages:

  • Kindergarten and Pre-primary – Pre-compulsory schooling
  • Primary and Secondary (Years 1 – 12) – Compulsory schooling

There are government and non-government schools in Perth and across the state, including remote areas. All government schools and the majority of non-government schools in Western Australia are co-educational. A few non-government schools operate as girls only, or boys only schools. Many non-government schools have religious affiliations (e.g. Catholic, Anglican, Islamic, Jewish).

The school year starts in February and ends in December. There are two semesters, with two terms in each semester and holidays between each term.

Courses and subjects

The Western Australian Government places a strong emphasis on providing all children with the best possible school education. It seeks to ensure all students have opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to achieve their individual potential.

The subjects and courses taught in Western Australian schools from Kindergarten to Year 12 are governed by the state's Curriculum Framework, which all schools are required by law to implement. This ensures that schools provide students with a balanced, comprehensive education.

For more information about the Curriculum Framework visit the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website at

Kindergarten and pre-primary

Kindergarten and pre-primary education provides the foundations for primary and secondary education.

Kindergarten education commences at the beginning of the year for children who reach the age of 4 on or before 30 June. Pre-primary education commences at the beginning of the year for children who reach the age of 5 on or before 30 June.

Primary education

In Western Australia primary education is provided for children generally aged between 6 and 12 years. Their intellectual, moral, social and physical development is encouraged in inclusive, safe and stimulating environments, with an emphasis on achievement of high standards of literacy and numeracy.

  • Year 1 Primary 
  • Year 2 Primary 
  • Year 3 Primary 
  • Year 4 Primary 
  • Year 5 Primary 
  • Year 6 Primary 
  • Year 7 Primary (or Secondary in some schools)

Secondary education

Secondary education is provided for young people generally aged between 12 and 17 years. Building on learning from the primary years, secondary education emphasises the development of generic and subject-specific knowledge, skills and understandings across the eight learning areas. In Years 11 and 12 a wide range of courses provide pathways for students to vocational education and training or university education in Australia and overseas.

  • Year 7 Secondary (or Primary in some schools)
  • Year 8 Secondary
  • Year 9 Secondary
  • Year 10 Secondary
  • Year 11 Secondary
  • Year 12 Secondary

From the commencement of the 2015 calendar year, all Year 7 students in Western Australia will be relocated to a secondary school setting.

Selecting a school

As an international student, you can enrol in schools registered under the Western Australian Education Service Providers (Full-Fee Overseas Students) Registration Act 1991. Acceptance into one of these schools must be arranged prior to arriving in Western Australia.

These schools are registered to offer education to student visa students and/or their dependants from Kindergarten to Year 12.

For more information about the many government and non-government schools in Western Australia visit the StudyPerth website.

Last modified: 19/03/2014 4:41 PM