Posted by: dsduffy | March 25, 2010


Ok, one of my readers commented on my last post and asked what is the difference between Australian and American schools. Now I have been out of the American Public school system for a lot longer than I would like to admit (half my life ago!!!) and my kids never went to school there. With that being said I don’t exactly know all the differences, but from what I have seen so far – here is what I have noticed about AU schools:

The kids were uniforms in public school (I love this! For some reason there seems to be less laundry to do)

I had to pay a fee ($700) for public school.

There is no cafeteria or kitchen, the kids either bring a lunch or a local restaurant does deliveries that the parents can opt to pay for.

The kids call their teachers by their first names (I think this is just our particular school though, not typically Australian, so I’ve been told.)

There are no school buses (maybe this is normal for city schools in general?)

There is a “no-sharing” food policy to deal with food allergies, opposed to having “peanut-free.” I’m not sure how I feel about this one.

There are 4 terms – and between each term, a 2 week school holiday. Then between years there is a 5 week holiday, over Christmas. Each state adheres to the exact same schedule, it doesn’t vary by “school district” like back in the States.

So far these are things that have stood out to me…I haven’t been around long enough to decide if I think it is  better, worse or just different.



  1. That was very interesting. Thank you Danielle

  2. hmmm no cafeteria??? We had a canteen at ours, but they couldn’t get it every day. Must be school to school difference! My son loved buying party pies, sausage rolls and sushi…some of the favs on the school menu!

  3. I’ve just started looking into schools for Ella and both St Kilda Park & Albert Park call their teachers by their first names also. The other different thing I found that they do is a ‘walking school bus’. They have several routes and parents take turns to run the route picking up kids along the way. K

  4. Just found your website and I live in the country just north of Melbourne as an expat from the US as well since January 2009. I have two daughters one in high school and the schools here are very different. Classes don’t start until 9 am and end at 3:30, they have morning tea, and recess all the way through secondary school. They have 2 week schedules for classes and everyone goes on camp every year (which is great). Grading system is very subjective and different but much more relaxed about everything except the uniform.

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