- 2 Post By flossybeth
- 1 Post By lucyh
- 2 Post By NicF
Something to think about
When we first arrived we struggled slightly with what we saw as a change in focus from the UK primary education our children had received, now we've been here three years and can see the benefits of a much more relaxed system - all the way through to y12 and having heard the news from the UK this week about how children who don't make the grade in their SATS could be made to re-sit (at 7 & 11???!!!!!) I'm now really glad we're out of that system. I know there has to be some testing to show that schools are doing as they should and educating children but this article really brings home just how individual children are:
I read that article yesterday and found it such a great read. So many valid points made that rip the Govs arguments to shreds and rightly so.
And yes, with you there, very glad to be out of the UK education system. The Aus one is for us proving far better all round and our son is loving his school, is being challenged in his learning, encourged to think for himself far more and doing so well. And without the pressure of what he may have had to face in England.
I don't have a single day where I question did we do the right thing. I know we did.
Do you pay for education in Oz? We are starting the visa process and I've heard mixed reviews about education, state education and costs etc.
Everyone has to pay something. There are basically either state schools or private schools here. Private schools charge fees which can vary from $4k a year to $20k a year. State schools charge a relatively small fee which is usually around $400 for primary schools and $800 for secondary schools (it may be more or less depending on the school). Some primary schools and most secondary schools will also require you to provide stationery and then there will be costs of excursions.
Originally Posted by lucyh
Hi Lucy and welcome to the forum :)
Originally Posted by lucyh
No, you don't pay for state education. There are school fees attached to each state school to cover costs of materials, books etc that children use throughout the school year. At the first primary school this was about $230 a year or so I think. At our second school its about $100 more (there is also far more equipment, computers and ipads available to the kids at this school). This is normal here and while we were used to schools having funding to pay for all those things in a more roundabout way when in the UK, here the system works differently and we pay direct.
All my own humble opinion on the schooling but I don't have any negatives regarding the state school system here, at least not what we have experienced. I've been very happy with it, much happier than I was with the UK system. I like its a little more relaxed at primary level, that classes are smaller than in the UK (reception/y1 class had 22 kids in it, a Y1 class had about the same and our Y1/2 class this year has 24).
It is different however. Different can surprise and perhaps put some off. Different approach to things, different speed of progression in the early years and children start school a bit later than in the UK (which is another plus point for me over the UK system). They also often do mixed year classes here which having experienced now and also from talking to teachers, seems to be popular and works well. Teachers are equipped to manage it.
Also, like anywhere, which school/area you choose can make a big difference. Our first primary school was small and nice but didn't have much oompf about it and was in need of funding to help bring it more up to date. But we liked it, son was very happy and settled well and made good friends. He also didn't miss a beat with his learning and did well. It was however always a temporary school till we bought a house in a preferred area. Our second primary, which we moved to after 3 terms at the first, son took a few weeks to settle in. Loves it and has made some good friends. It bigger numbers wise (but not overwhelmingly big like some primaries I looked at), has more dynamic about it, more going on and is IMHO a far better school in all aspects. Son was taken aback at his first term in Y1 there as he had come from a mixed YR/1 class and had been cruising a bit and then found no reception children in his class and therefore no morning free play between 9-9:30 and a few other things a bit of a shock. It was good though as it challenged him, gave him things to think about and he loves to take part in lessons and enjoys it all.
I did lots of research into primary schools and we basically had our preferred living areas focused on the schools we liked the best. Of course other things played a part to (like not wanting to live in a coastal suburb or being too far/long timewise for hubby to cycle into the CBD on a regular basis. Also wanted to be within a reasonable distance of where most of our family live and these are all pretty much in the east, south east or south on the flat part of the city.
With regard to high schools, I only know one ex pat family with kids in high school so haven't heard anything beyond that. Hubby is an Aussie and all his family went through and are going through the school system here, some private, some state and all are in good jobs having done degrees or learnt trades after finishing school. The ones currently in high school are in a state high school and very happy and doing well. My Aussie friends are happy with the Aus education system. They have nothing to compare it against I realise but if they were unhappy with the school or how their child was doing, they'd be doing something about it I am sure. As it is, no complaints, sure some small niggles now and again but I think every parent has those.
This might be of interest to have a read and check some of the links and info out
Thank you so much for your replies. The system actually sounds great as I believe our kids start too early here, with too much pressure on formal learning. My kids will be 6 and 9 if (when!) we move. Looking at eastern side of city currently. Interesting what you said about cycling, I cycle to work now, (6 miles to and from) and it would be good to keep that up in Oz! Thanks :)
Eastern side of the city definitely the best side . Not that I'm biased or anything. Cycling around Adelaide is a whole other thread (in fact there are a couple of threads about that subject around somewhere).
Originally Posted by lucyh