There exists a centralized national system of education in Australia.
The top of this system is the Federal Ministry of Education. But there are still many differences in the structure and the curricula of schools in different states. There exist two types of schools in the country: state schools and private schools. Tuition in state schools is free of charge. Private schools charge rather high fees. 80 % of Australian children go to state schools, and only 20 % attend feepaying schools.
School education is obligatory for all children from 6 to 15 years. At present the school education scheme is “6+4+2” or “7+3+2”. Most children begin primary schools at the age of about five. Primary schools include from 1 to 6 or 7 grades. After the primary school children pass to the secondary school without examinations. Junior high schools comprise 4 or 3-year courses. After these courses students complete two year senior high school.
After senior classes of secondary schools students may enter any higher educational institution in the country. There is a tendency of cancelling final examinations in both junior and senior secondary schools. In this case more children, irrespective of their abilities, may receive secondary education. University admission is only after the senior secondary schools. Tuition fees differ from one state to another.