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Melbourne has some of the best primary schools in Australia with highly qualified teachers and teaching programs.

Your children will enjoy a great start in life by attending Melbourne primary schools.

All Victorian children aged between six and 17 must attend school. To attend a government school in Victoria, your child must be five years old by 30 April of the year they start school.

What will your children learn?

There are seven years of primary school – grade ‘Prep’ (preparatory year) to grade six.

Classes are based around eight themes:

  • English
  • health and physical education
  • languages other than English
  • maths
  • science
  • society and environment
  • technology
  • arts. 

Religious education is also offered at relevant schools.

Children who have recently arrived in Australia may be eligible for classes in English as an Additional Language (EAL) within their school.

Melbourne primary schools fees

Public primary schools (state schools) are fully government-funded and free to attend. However, you are usually asked to pay a voluntary school levy per student per year. You will also need to pay for uniforms, some books and extra-curricular subjects and activities such as excursions.

Fees for private schooling vary widely. Check fees and other costs with individual education providers.

The school year and holidays

The Melbourne school year runs on the calendar year, usually beginning in late January and ending in December for the summer holidays:

  • students attend school for about 40 weeks per year, divided into four school terms
  • holidays between each term typically last for two weeks
  • the summer holiday break is significantly longer at five to six weeks.

You can find out more about school term dates in Victoria.

School times

Students attend school from Monday to Friday – usually from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Some schools finish at 3.30pm.

Many Victorian schools also provide childcare through services like:

  • before school care
  • after-school care
  • holiday care.

School locations

Most children attend primary school close to home. If you plan on your child attending a state primary school, your child will be allocated a school in the neighbourhood zone where you live. Neighbourhood schools have an obligation to accept any student who lives in their zone.

If you plan to send your child to a school in a different zone, you need to contact the school directly.

Enrolling your child in primary school

School staff will provide you with the appropriate enrolment forms. Several documents are required to enrol your child, including:

  • evidence of your child's date of birth
  • name and contact details of parents, guardians and emergency contacts
  • Immunisation Status Certification
  • health and welfare information (for example, if your child has asthma, diabetes, allergies, poor eyesight or hearing, specific custody arrangements)
  • information about the language(s) your child speaks and hears (to help the school build on your child's knowledge).

Special needs

The Victorian education system follows a policy of integration. This means students with special needs attend regular schools and receive assistance. There are also some government schools that cater for students with specific disabilities.

Find a primary school to suit your children

The following links make it easier for you to find the best primary schools in Melbourne:

Please note: The information, services and views expressed that may appear on any linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the Skilled and Business Migration Program and the Victorian Government. It is recommended that you make your own enquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information on this site for your particular circumstances.