National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009
Constitutional responsibility for schooling in Australia rests predominantly with the six Australian States and two mainland Territories.
All States and Territories provide for 13 years of formal school education. Typically, schooling commences at age five, is compulsory from age six until at least age 15 and is completed at age 17 or 18. Primary education, including a preparatory year, lasts for either seven or eight years and is followed by secondary education of six or five years respectively.
The majority of schools (approximately 70 per cent) are government schools, established and administered by State and Territory governments through their education departments or authorities. The remaining 30 per cent are non-government schools, usually with some religious affiliation, which are established and operated under conditions determined by State and Territory governments through their registration authorities.