Moving to Perth WA, help with schools please?

(16 Posts)
IpanemaMeisje Fri 21-Feb-14 17:11:16

Looks like dh work is taking us to Perth in Jan 2015, we are already overseas with children at an International School (same trimesters Feb to Dec) so far so good I thought. That was until I tried contacting some of the private/international schools and so far they are all full with long waiting lists. My eldest is 9 and one school quoted 40 on the waiting list, for my 3 year old it was 75!

Any help/insight gratefully received...

chloeb2002 Fri 21-Feb-14 22:49:12

Hi not in wa so I can only give you general advice :0)
There are some international schools but generally most uk expats send kids to either state schools (which vary greatly!) or private schools. Most private schools are church run, catholic ed has generally got a good reputation for providing good cheaper private ed.
Our kids are in baptist education. We are very happy.
We were previously in the lutheran school system. This we found was more expensive.
I not sure what the equivalent of of Brisbane grammar is in Perth. But there will be one. This is the top end private education. Aiming at kids getting op1. Very expensive. Waiting lists, normally entry exams.
So I guess it depends what it is you want! I think nsw is the only state that charges 457 visa holders to access state school. But I may be wrong wink

verybadhairdoo Fri 21-Feb-14 23:00:35

Ive heard the international school in perth is diabolical. Private schools have extortionalely long waiting lists.

shellybr Fri 21-Feb-14 23:46:51

We are perth. We choose to live in a suburb with a good state school. Private doesn't necessarily mean better. The top private schools charge $20,000+ a year. The catholic schools are much cheaper. We are very happy with our sons school we have one in year 2 and one in kindy.if you are coming on a 457 visa they are bringing in charges from next January of $4000 for the 1st child and $2000 for each other child. The international school has a high turnover as people are always coming and going

GirlsTimesThree Sat 22-Feb-14 12:37:45

We used to live in Perth and have also lived in Sydney. It does look scary when you first start looking at schools because the waiting lists are always long. However, the population especially in the Western suburbs is pretty transient, so don't worry too much. Also, many parents put their DCs names down for more than one school, so it's not as bad as it looks initially.
We have three DDs and have managed to get the schools we wanted both times. It has been a bit tight time wise (one or two had places, but nothing for the third right up to a week or so before starting), but we had a fallback option for just in case (the state primary schools are all perfectly good, in fact the locals who consider private schools tend to send their DCs to state primaries before moving to independents for secondary).

I would look at the schools which interest you, put your DCs names down, pay the registration fees then keep in touch with the registrars regularly so they know you're really interested. Most schools have a sibling policy which means that if they have a place for one child, the other take priority on the waiting list.
You have time on your side - schools won't know who's going to be still there next year until after the September holidays when those moving at Christmas will have to give notice. Even then, companies will move their employees right up to the end of the year and take the terms fees hit, so don't panic just yet! Good luck.

IpanemaMeisje Sat 22-Feb-14 12:39:52

Thanks for all your replies. We would consider state schools but I thought it would be easier to get 3 spaces at the same private school than state school.

I am surprised at the waiting lists though, guess I have quite a bit of research to do. verybad would you mind sending me a pm with a bit more information about the International school?

School places aside, Perth looks good for families? Outdoor lifestyle, parks, zoo etc. We have been living in hot places for 9 years so that won't be such a shock. I need to find swimming clubs and football for my dd's. Is there a Brownies/guides equivalent?

shellybr Sat 22-Feb-14 13:01:23

if you live in the catchment area for a state school they have to take you.

it is a great city for kids. lots of free activites and very sports oriented. swimming is big. the beaches are amazing

MadonnaKebab Sat 22-Feb-14 13:23:45

First find out whether your visa entitles your children to free state education
If so, get yourself into the catchment of a good state high school such as Rossmoyne, Shenton college or Churchlands
Or if DCs are achedemic get them down for the exam for Perth modern
(Only state selective school, excellent results)
If yor visa means that you have to pay for state education anyway, then I would advise you too book an appointment with the head of your preferred private school and plead your case, they have more flexibility than they might initially admit
Avoid international schools, look into schools doing IBac instead if you'll be moving on fairly soon
Best of luck, Perth is a great place for a young family

ThePost Sat 22-Feb-14 13:27:50

Western suburbs primary schools (Nedlands, Dalkeith, Freshwater Bay) and high school (Shenton College) have excellent results and are worth considering if you are in a position to live in the catchment area.

IpanemaMeisje Sat 22-Feb-14 14:51:54

Thanks everyone for the info. Feeling much calmer smile

giggly Sun 23-Feb-14 17:07:44

Of course most people cannot afford to rent never mind buy in the areas mentioned.grin

Mutley77 Mon 24-Feb-14 12:27:06

Just to reassure, we are in Perth and have so far had good experience with the local state primary. Don't think you need an international school here as curriculum broadly similar to UK anyway.

State schools have to admit children within their catchment area if they are statutory school age. Therefore your nine year old will be fine. Kindergarten starts at age four but isn't compulsory so your younger child may be more tricky but there are plenty of private kindergarten programmes available.

IpanemaMeisje Tue 25-Feb-14 13:34:23

Thanks Mutley that's good to know.

I've re-read some older Perth threads and checked some rental prices so realise Perth is a pricy city to live in but where we are now is pretty similar TBH.

So we are used to making up fun for free, parks, beaches, bike rides, bbq's etc. Thankfully, our lot seem reasonably easy to please if they have somewhere to let off steam grin

Incidentally, do M&S still do free shipping to Australia?

giggly Thu 27-Feb-14 15:30:17

Yes most of the time, I got charged at CHristmas £15, but happy to pay. I bought dd school uniform from M&S as the quality and price much better than Target/Big W etc.

Mutley77 Fri 28-Feb-14 14:17:02

M&S were doing free shipping ongoing last year but now it is only at certain times. If you save a basket the free delivery comes up often enough to just wait a couple of weeks!

Yes Perth is expensive but we have been here a year and already we can sense rents are dropping a bit - the mining industry is not as secure and there is a lot of reliance on that! In our experience salaries here account for the high cost of living to some degree.

Mutley77 Fri 28-Feb-14 14:22:51

Btw just re-read - swimming will be easy to find. If you mean soccer - might be a little harder as the main ball sports here are Aussie Rules Football, cricket, basketball/netball. And yes there is brownies/guides but I couldn't get DD in as they never replied to my query - but you might be lucky! None of her friends do it though and she isn't bothered - we have found activities for our kids that they are happy with and there is a sports focus but other things available.

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