Australia is one of the top 10 destinations for raising and educating kids. So, if you plan to move to Australia with kids, you’re in luck. Australia offers you plenty of choices when selecting a school for your child, whether you want an international or Australian curriculum.
If you’re planning to make the move soon but have yet to finalize your school options, keep in mind that the local school year starts in January.
In addition, getting in sometimes depends on the type of visa you hold and your residency status. You’ll thus want to be prepared and eligible before applying.
To help you get up to speed, we’ve curated this list of the best schools for expat children in Australia’s top cities. Let’s get started.
Best International Schools in Australia for Expat Children
While Australia offers plenty of public and catholic school options, international schools are the best option for expat families. International schools (with International Baccalaureate) will offer your children a consistent curriculum so they don’t have to adjust even if you move to another country in the middle of their education.
Here are some of the top international schools in Australia for expat children:
1. International Grammar School, Ultimo, Sydney
Founded in 1984, the International Grammar School is one of Sydney’s best international schools, offering an International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. It offers a high-quality education for preschool to year 12 students and accepts boys and girls. It provides students with various extracurricular activities focusing on sports and outdoor education, visual arts, design, drama, music, and more. IGS also offers bilingual education with French, German, Italian, and Japanese offered as mandatory second languages, while Chinese and Spanish are offered as third languages. The school also has more than 70 after-school clubs for kids to engage in, such as 3D printing, yoga, fencing, robotics, etc.
IGS is an independent secular school with overseas programs at its sister schools that are located in Italy, France, Germany, and Japan.
The annual tuition fees at IGS can range anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000, depending on the year. If you’re sending both of your children to IGS, you can get a sibling discount between 10% and 25%.
2. St Paul’s Grammar School, Sydney
The St Paul’s Grammar School is a co-educational, non-denominational Christian Grammar school offering an IB curriculum to students from prekindergarten to year 12. Their co-curricular offerings include sports, music, drama, and dance.
Students also engage in competitions, festivals, tours, musicals, exhibitions, and camps located on campus and offsite.
The annual fee at St Paul’s can cost around $6,000 to $14,000 for pre-K (2-5 days) and go up to $19,000 for year 12. The total fee and its breakdown will differ based on the year of study and co-curricular charges. St Paul’s also offers a sibling concession between 15% and 75%.
3. Wesley College, Melbourne
Wesley College is a leading co-educational institution offering students the IB curriculum from early childhood to year 12. It also offers boarding for students from years 9 to 12.
Wesley College has a research-based approach to its teaching and prioritizes experiential learning and technological literacy for its students. Not only does it promise a diverse batch of students, it also ensures students get access to plenty of co-curricular activities as part of their school life.
Wesley College has an annual tuition fee from $25,000 to $37,000, depending on the year of study. And while a subsequent child discount is between 20% and 50%, temporary resident families incur an additional international levy of $4,700 per family.
4. Carey Baptist Grammar School, Melbourne
Carey Baptist Grammar School is a co-educational international school for students from early learning to year 12. Along with stellar education, Carey Baptist School also covers co-curricular activities like theatre, drama, sports, debate, public speaking, and more.
Depending on the year of study, the annual tuition fees at Carey Baptist Grammar can go from $23,000 to $41,000.
5. Anglican Church Grammar School, East Brisbane, Queensland
The Anglican Church Grammar School, more commonly known as Churchie, is a boys’ school that provides boarding facilities. It focuses on supporting children’s personal growth to help them become well-balanced and resilient individuals. Keeping in mind their students’ development, they offer a range of outdoor school activities to encourage physical and leadership growth in sports and other activities.
The school tuition fees vary from $23,000 to $43,000 per annum based on the year of study.
6. Somerset College, Mudgeeraba, Gold Coast, Queensland
Somerset College is an independent school offering IB curriculum education to students from pre-prep to year 12. It focuses on providing students with a challenging curriculum that helps them develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The school also offers a range of co-curricular activities covering performing arts, sports, outdoor activities, debate, and public speaking.
Learning at Somerset College requires an annual fee between 14,000 and $19,000, depending on the year of study. There’s also a 10% to 50% fee reduction if you enrol second, third, and subsequent children.
7. Scotch College, Perth
Founded in 1851, Scotch College is a private school for boys offering education to students from prep to year 12. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of Victoria and has a Christian underpinning in all its teachings. Their annual fee can range from $30,000 to $40,000 based on the year of study.
8. International School of Western Australia, Perth
The International School of Western Australia is a co-educational independent school offering education to students from early years up to year 12.
It comes with multiple self-funded and company-funded fee payment options that parents can avail of based on their visa type and other conditions. However, the annual tuition fees at the International School of Western Australia can cost between $6,000 and $13,000 based on the year of study.
9. Immanuel College, Adelaide
Immanuel College is an independent co-educational day and boarding school for students from years 7 to 12. It is a reputable school known for its academic excellence but it also emphasizes global opportunities and co-curricular education.
10. Concordia College, Adelaide
Concordia College is an independent school offering the IB curriculum to students from early learning to year 12. It focuses on providing students with a balanced education as well as fostering their academic, physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual growth.
The annual school fees at Concordia can cost anywhere from around $7,000 to $17,000, depending on the year of study.
Public and Catholic Schools
If you plan on completing your child’s 13 years of schooling in Australia, you might want to look at public or catholic schools. Both have lower fees in comparison to private schools in Australia.
While their education standards are on par with international schools, admission might not be so easy. Public schools allow applicants based on catchment areas, which means housing is a mandatory factor in getting accepted.
The main issue with sending kids to public schools for expat parents is they won’t get them accepted into universities overseas. However, that’s not an issue in Australia if the student selects more academic subjects.
You can search for more schools at the Australian government’s official Study Australia portal for international students.
Costs Associated With Sending Children to School in Australia
School fees in Australia depend on a lot of factors. Mainly, however, costs vary based on where you live and the school you pick. Independent/private schools are the most expensive compared to catholic and public schools. On average, putting one child through 13 years of education at a private school in Australia will cost you between $196,000 to $357,000. This roughly translates to between $15,000 and $28,000 worth of annual educational expenses. If your children are starting school, you may have a lower educational expense of around $6,000.
This total cost includes tuition fees along with expenses like uniforms, excursions, travel, extra-curricular activities, outside tuition, software and electronic devices, and more.
Accreditations, Awards, and Recognitions To Look For
Depending on the type of school you’re looking for, there are various accreditations you’ll want to keep an eye on. However, if you’re selecting an international school for your child, make sure it has the following accreditations:
- Council of British International Schools (COBIS)
- Council of International Schools (CIS)
- Association of Australasian IB Schools (AAIBS)
Regarding government schools in Australia, you can be assured of the high standards maintained by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
Planning your child’s education and researching schools early on will give you more financial freedom to select the right school. We hope this list of Australian schools and their associated costs will help you make a well-informed decision for your child’s future.