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Can anyone tell me anything about the schooling system in Australia Specifically NSW

(9 Posts)
Jeffvader Sat 06-Nov-10 19:59:25

Hi, we need to go to Sydney with DH's job for 5months next year. DS will be 6yrs and currently in Y1 here in UK. DD will be 5 and in Reception. Looking to go Apr-Aug so they would miss the summer term here at home.

Question is do we legally need to put them in school? Seems a bit of a faff for such a short time. Also would be lovely to spend the days exploring etc.

Though about home ed but not sure if this is legal in NSW. Also, as foreign nationals, do we need to pay for state school in NSW?

Kids are both very bright and well ahead at school. Both at indie school who are happy to hold their place until the September so no problem with coming home 3rd week in August and straight back to school 2nd week September.

Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

Scarabeetle Sat 06-Nov-10 20:19:24

Interesting question!

I don't know the answer - though as an interested Aussie I have found some resources:
This Act indicates that the compulsory school age in NSW is 6, so your DD is off the hook:
www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ea19901 04/s21b.html

As for your DS - not sure what the rules are, though here is a link to the Board of Studies in NSW, including information on home-schooling, which you may find helpful. www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/parents/#home-ed

Regardless of whether there is an Australian legal requirement to put your DS through school whilst you are over there, I suppose it's possible there may also be UK requirements to keep up with any schooling they may have missed out on here, so you may need to look into that.

Jeffvader Sat 06-Nov-10 20:48:30

Thanks for those, Scarabeetle. I'll have a read.

No requirement this end. Leaving the country for more than 21days sort of releases us from obligation according to the LEA. Also, the fact that here they will only be missing 3months (due to summer break) and their school places will be waiting in Sept helps things.

I just wasn't sure whether home-ed was legal in Australia. I know it isn't in some countries. Also, just the idea of having to find somewhere and settle them in for the sake of a couple of months. I wouldn't want them not to have a break before returning to school in September so I'd like them to finish in July at the latest.

Ideally, they wouldn't attend school but wasn't sure of the legal implications. DH will be on a temp work vias (457) if that makes any difference to anyone.

mono3 Sat 06-Nov-10 20:57:53

we were out in Sydney on a 457 visa for a longer time and had to pay for schooling. This was a few years ago though so not sure if it will still be the same and unfortunately cannot remember the cost as DH's work paid our costs. My DS started out his schooling there and it was a bit of a change for him to adaapt back to school in the Uk. A great experience for him though.

Not sure where you stand legally for such a short time though.

Jeffvader Sat 06-Nov-10 21:08:30

Thanks Mono!

If we were going to be there for longer then I would definitely put him in school. It just seems like it would be more of an upheavel to do so rather than leave his current school for an extended summer break and return in September if that makes sense.

mono3 Sat 06-Nov-10 22:16:13

Think I would be inclined to treat it like an extended holiday if I was you. Too many things to see and do without trying to work round school hours. Keeping up with thier school work yourself seems a good option.

Have you discussed the options with their current school?

Sounds like a great opportunity. Enjoy!

chloeb2002 Sun 07-Nov-10 00:35:54

i guess as long as it will only be five months and that you wont be rempte to stay longer then it is just a holiday? But also 5 months without the company of friends for school and stimulation is quite a long time? I know we arrived in aus 1st november and no school for dd who had started reception in spetemeber in the uk was a total nightmare as they didnt start school here till the end of january! She was climbing the walls. Playgroup was far too babyfied for her and made for a long settling in wait! However I guess for us money was an object as we had just set up home so if you have a big sydney sized budget for outings then there is plenty to do!

sunnydelight Sun 07-Nov-10 10:56:48

Home schooling is completely legal here, technically you need to register but if you are only here for 5 months nobody will be any the wiser. I home schooled two of mine for six months when we first got here; if I had decided to continue long term I would have registered but I sent them to school in the end.

You have to pay $4,500 per child in NSW for public schools on a 457. Tbh I wouldn't bother for a five month stay as you will have to pay the whole fee upfront then claim it back pro rata when you leave. Also, depending on exactly when in the year their birthdays are your eldest may well find himself back in kindy and your younger child doesn't even have to be in school here (6 is compulsory school age). There is a good home school community which can take care of the social side. Sydney is very child friendly - you certainly won't be bored (though unfortunately you are coming Autumn/Winter so weather may not be great). Do you know where you will be living? I can put you in touch with the Upper North Shore home school community if you like.

Jeffvader Sun 07-Nov-10 12:43:19

Thank you both Chloe and SD.

I do worry about the social aspect but I am hoping that the opportunity to see so many new things might help with that.

Sunnydelight, I'm not sure where we'll be living but DH's office is on the North Shore I think. Is that the bit that is just offices and stuff slightly out of the CBD? I'm fairly sure that's the place. It's an internal move but because it's for less than 6mths there is no relocation package in financial terms. Often, when his colleagues have gone for 4 or 5 months their partner and kids have stayed put but we want to go as I think it will be a recipe for disaster for family life if we stayed. They will, however, help with the practical stuff and going will be very good for his career.

Anyway, we are having trouble renting the house out for what it's worth/what our mortgage is. So, with the help of colleagues over there, we are going to rent something fairly modest (difficult in Sydney I'm sure) and rent our house out for the cost of the rent we'll pay over there. If that makes sense. Out mortgage is 2.5kpcm and we can rent it out for 2k pcm so hopefully we can find something not too rough for 1800 pcm and that would cover costs. Though willing to pay up to 2k if absolutely necessary. DH works for the bank so at least no exchange rate costs etc.

Hope that makes a bit of sense. maybe I could also ask for recommendation of areas to live that would give DH a reasonable commute and not cost more than our budget but not be an area to avoid?

Thanks for school info btw. All really useful. SD, maybe the NS home school thingy would be ideal.

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