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Expats moving to Adelaide can take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of high-quality public and private schools in the city. The compulsory schoolgoing age is 6 to 16, though in practice many children attend school beyond the compulsory years.
Those who want their child to study at an international school in Adelaide should be aware that their choices will be limited, and it will be important to start the application process as far ahead of time as possible.
Public schools in Adelaide
Students attend public schools within their designated school zone, which is determined by residential address. It can be difficult to change public schools without physically moving.
Government schooling is free for long-term residents of Australia, but those in the country on temporary visas will have to pay a flat fee to attend. There are also additional costs for materials. This can add up to a fair amount, and temporary-visa holders may be better off going for a Catholic school. Though private, Catholic schools are sponsored by the church and their fees are lower than what the government charges non-residents.
English is the language of instruction in government schools, but some schools offer language-immersion programmes where teaching is in English, along with an additional language, such as French or Chinese.
Private schools in Adelaide
Private schools in Adelaide appeal to those interested in religious instruction, alternative teaching and learning styles, as well as to international students who are not permanent residents of Australia. There are scores of private schools to choose from, with a wide price range. Private school fees are typically expensive, with the notable exception of Catholic schools, which are funded by a combination of donations, state funding and fees.
International schools in Adelaide
Unlike in the larger Australian cities that have a number of international schools offering expat students the option of continuing to study the curriculum of their home country, international options in Adelaide are limited. There is just a handful of international schools in the city, most of which offer the International Baccalaureate.
As demand for places at these schools is high, expat parents need to make their applications as soon as possible. Most international schools in Adelaide have long waiting lists. Fees at these schools tend to be high and parents will also need to budget for additional expenses such as uniforms, school trips, extra-curricular activities and textbooks.
Special needs education in Adelaide
In Adelaide, there are several levels of special-needs support in education which are offered according to the child's needs. The aim is to disrupt the education experience as little as possible while providing the necessary support. Special needs interventions can broadly be defined as internal and external.
Internal interventions occur within non-specialised schools and may include attending a special class or disability unit within the school. Where more support is needed, external interventions may be taken, such as transferring the child to a school dedicated to meeting special needs in education.
Tutoring in Adelaide
A variety of tutoring companies operate in Adelaide. Some specialise in a particular subject while others offer a full range of services. For expat parents with concerns about their children adapting to a new curriculum and schooling system, tutors can be the ideal solution. Children who aren't first-language English speakers can also benefit from the extra time and individualised attention that tutors offer.
Some well-regarded tutoring companies in Adelaide include Tutors SA and High Performance Learning.
►For family-friendly neighbourhood recommendations, see Areas and Suburbs in Adelaide
Are you an expat living in Adelaide?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Adelaide. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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