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APPENDIX DIFFERENCES IN SCHOOLING STRUCTURES
This pattern will change from 2015, when Year 7 will be considered secondary school in Queensland and Western Australia. As part of this transition, a number of schools in these states were piloting Year 7 in a secondary setting before 2015 to ensure the transition was smooth. This will leave South Australia as the only state or territory where Year 7 is provided in a primary setting. This will impact on reporting in next year’s release of Schools, Australia.
Naming conventions for the first year of primary school (pre-Year 1) differ between states and territories. Pre-Year 1 is known as:
In the year before Pre-Year 1, each state and territory has a preschool year (also known as Year 1 minus 2), however these are excluded from the scope of the NSSC. Data on preschool education are available annually through Preschool Education, Australia (cat. no. 4240.0).
AGE STRUCTURE OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLING
The age at which children must attend school is the subject of specific legislation within each state and territory. In 2014, the age at which a child's attendance at school was compulsory, under state and territory legislation, was 5 years for Tasmania and 6 years for all other states and territories.
Generally, minimum starting ages for Pre-Year 1 restrict enrolment to children aged between four and a half and five years at the beginning of the year. In South Australia, prior to 2014, most children started school at age five, and it was common for children to start school at the beginning of the school term following their fifth birthday. From 2014 onwards, children in South Australia commence school at the start of the year in which they turn five.
In addition, the National Youth Participation Requirement, which was effected through relevant state and territory legislation on January 1, 2010, includes:
For the purpose of the National Youth Participation Requirement, education or training will be considered full-time if the provider considers the course to be full-time or if it includes 25 hours per week of formal course requirements. Exemptions from the National Youth Participation Requirement will continue in line with existing state and territory practice. For further information, see: <http://transitions.youth.gov.au>
Information on changes to schooling structures over time is also available in the Explanatory Notes.
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