Each Australian State has a different system to decide when a child starts school, although there are national discussions taking place to try to get a common system for everyone.
More details on this can be found in the Common School Starting Age Report:
If you check the individual State Education pages above, you will see the relevant starting age details for the State that you are interested in.
The first day of the first term of the New Year is normally near the end of January. In 2009 it is January 27th for many States.
Starting Secondary School
State regulations currently mean that State run Secondary school starting years are as follows:
Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia start Secondary school in Year 8
ACT, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria all start Secondary school in year 7
Some private schools may operate differently to the above, especially where they have Junior, Middle and Senior schools.
Year 12 – Final Year of School
Various training options are available to school leavers through an Australian Apprenticeship, University or TAFE
Australian Apprenticeships are included in the Training Pathways Program which is targeted at increasing the number of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in the workforce to meet the future industry skills requirements.
Enrolling your child for School
Just because the children are not at school does not mean the school is closed.
This may be useful to you if you arrive during school holidays, but want to check out schools for enrolling the next year etc.
School opening hours during the school holidays.
An example for my school (2010/11 in QLD) is:
Thursday, 2 December 2011 Last day of Term 4 for Middle School
Friday, 10 December 2011 Junior, Middle and Senior School Offices close
— Christmas School Holidays —
Monday, 10 January 2011 Middle/Senior School Offices open
Monday, 17 January 2011 Junior School Office opens
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 New Staff Orientation
Monday, 24 January 2011 First day Term 1
Education in Australia is administered by the State Governments, NOT by the Federal Government, therefore you will find that each State may have different Holidays and other rules etc etc.
(Even different styles of Handwriting to be learnt in Junior School)
eg: NSW and Queensland
Visit www.schoolfonts.com.au for further details.