Choosing schools before relocating to Melbourne is tough. It is somewhat easier if you are already here but as a responsible parent, you would want to start looking before arriving in Melbourne. And if you are not familiar with Melbourne and the education system here, the entire process becomes daunting.  Here are some points that will come handy: catchment system, mandatory school enrolment, free public education and choosing a school.

Public Schools Work on Catchment System

In Melbourne, most public schools work on a catchment system. What does this mean? It means that to go to a particular school, your house has to be located within the particular area the school services. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the school closest to the house. The catchment is predetermined and in a lot of cases, especially where there is high density living, two houses right next to each other might fall in to two different schools.   You may prefer living in one area but if the school does not rank highly, you may choose to live elsewhere that addresses all the other requirements in looking for house. On the flip-side, you may choose to forego certain “wants” in a house to be located in the right catchment area so you feel assured that your children are getting the education you want them to get.

Mandatory School Enrolment

It is mandatory in to send your children to get education from the age of 6 to 17, either by enrolling them to a school or register them for home-schooling. The government can fine you, as a parent, if you do not enrol them while they are between the said ages.  To know more about this rule and the exceptions, click on this link by the

Public Education is Free

Sending your kids to a government-run primary and secondary school in Melbourne is free.  The state government allows for this and the only payments that you, as a parent, have to make are for items that your children consume or take home. These could include, but not limited to, uniforms, textbooks, materials for workshop, etc.   You can read more about what is included and not included on this Parent Payments in Free Education done by the State Government of Victoria.

How to Choose a School

Online research on school ranking is the best objective way to find out about an education provider. I personally use the Secondary School Ranking in Melbourne to assist my clients. This way, we know how the school is ranked in terms of Math and English scores. Using the other tabs, you can also find how that particular school ranks by plugging in the name of the school and compare up to 5 schools. Don’t forget, that once you have made a choice, send the school registrar an email to let them know that you might be moving to the area and let them know you plan to enrol your child or children.