Aussie Educator

Secondary Education

Secondary Schooling covers the school years from 7 or 8, through to Year 12. These cover the final years of schooling and lead to university, college, vocational education or employment. There are considered to be two sections, a junior secondary period and a senior secondary component which leads to the award of a final qualification. These qualifications have different names in each state and territory [see below].

Schools in this sector have a range of titles within and across systems.

This page covers basic information on secondary education in each state & territory including years, school types, minimum leaving age, certificates and more.

States & Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

Students are required to remain in some form of education, training or employment until they turn 17. You can check further information in the Education Act 2004 [ACT] page.

Enrolling in Secondary School

Secondary School Enrolmentinformation is found here. It includes PDF documents for a Placement Form, Appeals Process and Placement Timeline. Information about Priority Enrolment Areas is found here.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

ACT Qualifications
‘Formal documents issued by the Board at the end of Year 12 include : ACT Senior Secondary Certificate and Record of Achievement; Tertiary Entrance Statement; Statement of Achievement; VET Certificates and Statements of Attainment’.
What Certificates Could You Obtain ? is brochure detailing all of these. As well, What’s the ATAR ? provides useful information about the ACT Tertiary Entrance Statement and the ATAR.

Year 10 Certificate [ACT]
Includes High School Record.

School Types

Colleges, Comprehensive, District, High, K-10, K-12.

Uniform

Dress Code. Some schools have uniforms. Check with individual schools.

Fees

Contribution scheme. Check with individual schools.

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New South Wales

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

‘Students in NSW will be required to remain at school until the end of Year 10; and after completing Year 10, students will be required to remain in some form of education, training or employment until they turn 17’.
An Information Sheet in multiple languages [including English] is found here.

Enrolling in Secondary School

Information on High School Enrolment can be found here. It covers both enrolment into Year 7 and in other years.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

Record of School Achievement [RoSA]
‘The RoSA will be available electronically and as a verifiable hard copy on demand with the most up-to-date information on a student’s achievements, across all subjects and a range of extra-curricular activities’. It has replaced the School Certificate and is available for students leaving in Years 11 and 12 prior to sitting the HSC. There is a separate page for Parents and Employers here and a range of other documents is also available from the first site.
HSC - Board of Studies NSW.
A wealth of information about this certificate and how it is gained. A second page on this topic is now found at High School : HSC [NESA]. A further page on HSC Assessment is found here. For those wanting more detailed information try the HSC Rules and Procedures Guide.
More information is also found at the Assessment Certification Examination [ACE] site which ‘provides current, easily accessible information to principals, teachers, parents and students about the rules and procedures set by BOSTES for secondary education in New South Wales’.
Minimum HSC Standards.
‘From 2020 students in NSW must reach the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy to be eligible for the HSC. There will be multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the standard between Year 9 and when they complete their HSC’.
Leaving School
‘Leaving high school marks a time of significant change for all students and there are many choices to consider’. Find Information, checklists and guides for parents and carers here.

School Types

Agricultural, Central [K-10 & K-12], Comprehensive, Dramatic Arts, Selective, Senior College, Single Sex, Sport, Technology, Visual Arts & Design.

Special Information

Selective High Schools : Year 7 placement. Provides an ‘Introduction to the selective high school placement process’, while information about The Test is found here, including general information, preparation tips and sample tests.

Uniform

Yes. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Fees

Both General and Subject fees. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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Northern Territory

Years Covered

Middle Years : Years 7, 8 & 9
Senior Years : Years 10, 11 & 12

Minimum Leaving Age

‘Minimum school leaving age is the age at which a child completes Year 10 or at the age of 17, whichever comes sooner. However, a child will still be of compulsory school age until age 17 even though they have completed Year 10 unless they are participating as required in one or more eligible options for a total of 25 hours per week or more’.

Enrolling in Secondary School

Education and Learning
This information has been assembled for the benefit of parents whose children are to undertake education in the Northern Territory. Multiple sections and links.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

NT Certificate of Education and Training [Y12]
‘Students who successfully complete their senior secondary education are awarded the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training’ [Darwin HS]. For further information read Understanding the NTCET.

School Types

Area School, College, Comprehensive, Rural College, Senior College.

Uniform

Dress Code. Some have uniforms. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Fees

School Levy. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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Queensland

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 9 . See Introducing Junior Secondary.
Senior Years : Years 10, 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

Students ‘have to stay in education or training until they turn 17’. Find more information about the Senior Phase of Learning including Senior Options via this site.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

Queensland Certificate of Education
Queensland Core Skills
For university entry.
Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement. ‘This certificate recognises the schooling achievements of students who have impairments or difficulties in learning.

Education Minister Kate Jones announced those graduating in 2018 will be the last to receive the OP scores, which will be replaced by an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, bringing Queensland in line with other states. This has now been pushed out a further year and will not be implemented until 2019.

School Types

Academies, Aviation High, Community, Community College, Comprehensive, Secondary College, State.

Uniform

Dress Code. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Fees

School contribution. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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South Australia

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 8 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

‘South Australian students who have turned 16 are required to remain at school or undertake an approved learning program until they turn 17 or gain a Senior Secondary Certificate or equivalent or a Certificate II [or higher] vocational qualification’ [ACARA].

Enrolling in Secondary School

Information on Enrolling in High School found here. It includes Registering interest in a specific high school, Offers of placement, Finalising enrolment, Proof of residence, Transferring between high schools, more.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

South Australian Certificate of Education [Y12]. Includes Tertiary Entrance Rank.
Special Provisions. ‘For students who may be in a situation where an illness, impairment, learning difficulty or unforeseen incident has made this difficult’. For Students & Families. There is a related presentation for Teachers & Schools.
SACE International, ‘An internationally recognised one year pre-university program’ [previously known as the South Australian Matriculation program].

School Types

High School, Secondary School, Comprehensive, Specialist [subject area and Gifted], Rural, District.

Uniform

Some schools have uniforms. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Fees

Annual compulsory School Charge & Voluntary Contribution. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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Tasmania

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

‘Tasmanian students are required to continue participating in education, training or full-time employment until they turn 17’ [ACARA].

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

Tasmanian Certificate of Education. Year 12 This page provides descriptions and a range of downloadable documents in multiple formats.
Post-Compulsory Qualifications in Tasmania. ‘Post-compulsory school qualifications in Tasmania are generally divided into senior secondary schooling years 11 and 12; vocational education and training; higher education’.
Senior Secondary Equivalent Qualifications. These provide equivalence for qualifications from other states, territories and countries.

School Types

Comprehensive, District, Secondary Colleges : 7 to 10, 11 to 12. The Tasmanian Academy.

Uniform

Check with individual schools for details.

Fees

School Levy. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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Victoria

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

Students must complete Year 10 and then be at school, in approved education, training or full-time paid employment until they turn 17. Further information at can be found at Minimum School Leaving Age.

Enrolling in Secondary School

Enrolling in Secondary Schoolsinformation is found here. Covers both when and how; restrictions and residential boundaries; and access to a Guide, including selected links. PDF format.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

Selective Entry for Gifted Students
Victorian Certificate of Education [Y12]
Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning. ‘For students in Years 11 and 12. Gives you practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education, VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate’.

School Types

Comprehensive, Selective Entry High Schools, Technical.

Uniform

Dress Code applies in all schools. Some have uniforms. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Fees

General and Subject fees. Check with individual schools for exact details.

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Western Australia

Years Covered

Junior Years : Years 7 to 10
Senior Years : Years 11 and 12

Minimum Leaving Age

The end of the school year in which they turn 17 years of age.
‘Young people must be in school, training, an apprenticeship or a traineeship, or approved full-time employment - or combinations of part-time education/training and employment’. Information on Participation & Engagement Programs is found here.

Enrolling in Secondary School

Enrolling in School information is found here. A general section about secondary schools, Local Intake Areas, specialist programs, more. The Departmental Enrolment Policy can be read here.

Major Examinations, Reports & Certificates

Gifted and Talented Programs. Includes a process for High Academic Achievers.
WA Certificate of Education [Y12]. Select The WACE from the top menu. Includes Statement of Results. Note changes in requirements leading up to 2016. Further details are found at the the WACE 2015-2016 site.

School Types

College, Community College, District, Senior Campus, Selective High School [Perth Modern School], Senior High, State High.

Uniform

Dress Code. Check with individual schools for exact details.

Special Information

Country Residential Colleges. ‘The Country High School Hostels Authority continues to provide a high-quality and reliable boarding service for Western Australian secondary school students who do not live close to a secondary school’.

Fees

School Charge : Years 8, 9, 10.
Upper Secondary School Charge : Senior Years.

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Other Information

  • Career Pathways After School
    DET, Victoria. ‘There is support available to help you choose a career pathway’.
  • Leaving School
    NSW Department of Education& Communities. ‘Take a look at the sites below to see what your options are’.
  • Leaving School in Australia
    ‘Summarises the types of subjects, courses and various methods of assessing and reporting student achievement in each of the eight public education systems in Australia, and the New Zealand system’.
  • MyFuture - Occupations
    ‘Explore your options and find out what you need to know to achieve your career goals’.
    You need to be able to log in to access this site but it is free.
  • Non-current School Leavers
    UTS, Sydney. Advice for those who have left prior to the end of formal schooling [e.g. minimum age, end of Junior Secondary]. They have a second site covering High School Students.
  • Student Exchange Australia
    Information on opportunities for secondary students to travel and stay in another country with a host family.
  • TasTAFE
    ‘Continuing your education’. Tasmanian information covering vocational education.

Tutoring Help

  • Dux College
    ‘Sydney-based HSC learning centre offering results oriented intensive Maths tutoring for Mathematics [2 unit] and Mathematics Extension 1 and 2 for HSC and Preliminary students’
  • Matrix Education
    ‘Matrix Education is Australia’s leading HSC English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry Tuition College. Our students are famous for achieving results above expectations’.
  • Talent 100 HSC Tutoring
    ‘Help for students sitting their HSC [Sydney]’.

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