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Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five or six and fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, depending on the State or territory and date of birth. For primary and secondary schools, a national Australian Curriculum has been progressively developed and implemented since 2010. The Education Index, published with the UN’s Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0. 993, the highest in the world. The regulation, operation, and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, partly because the Federal Government does not have a specific constitutional power to pass laws with respect to education. Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training, and the tertiary education sector.
The Federal Government’s involvement in education has been the responsibility of a number of departments over the years, the present version of which is the Department of Education and Training. Preschool and pre-prep programmes in Australia are relatively unregulated, and are not compulsory. Preschools are usually run by the state and territory governments, except in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales where they are more often run by local councils, community groups or private organisations. 46 a day for a long day care service offering 12-hour days. School education in Australia is compulsory between certain ages as specified by state or territory legislation. Depending on the state or territory, and date of birth of the child, school is compulsory from the age of five to six to the age of fifteen to seventeen. In recent years, over three quarters of students stay at school until they are seventeen.
A small portion of students are legally home-schooled, particularly in rural areas. Australian citizens and permanent residents, while Catholic and independent schools usually charge attendance fees. However, in addition to attendance fees, stationery, textbooks, uniforms, school camps and other schooling costs are not covered under government funding. Regardless of whether a school is part of the Government, Catholic or independent systems, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks of their state or territory. The curriculum framework however provides for some flexibility in the syllabus, so that subjects such as religious education can be taught. Most Catholic schools are either run by their local parish, local diocese and their state’s Catholic education department. Some Catholic and independent schools charge high fees, and because of this Government funding for these schools is often criticised by the Australian Education Union and the Greens.