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Old Nov 9th 2017, 12:20 pm   #16
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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He can actually start at 4 if he has turned 5 before 30 April but you will be advised not to start him until the following year if his birthday is from February onwards. School is not compulsory, however until their 6th birthday so you do get families choosing not to enrol their kids in an educational establishment until they are 6. Once they are 6 they either have to be enrolled in a school or certified to do home schooling. However, from my experience, it wouldn't take much to keep a kid out of school and off the grid for much of their lives actually, there isnt a great system for catching kids who are out of school.
I would agree with this, at least at the secondary level. In my state, kids are not allowed to be held back unless it is at the student's request. The kids know that, and they know they can do absolutely nothing and still pass to the next year level, or in fact not come at all. It drives teachers crazy because on the odd occasions when those kids do come you have a student at a Year 4 level in a class of Year 10s, then can't keep up and the teacher doesn't know how to deal with that. Mind you, a student also only needs a 30% to pass, but as noted that's effectively a meaningless number since they "pass" anyways. In Year 12 that changes slightly, they need to get a 50% in English and pass either NAPLAN or OLNA (two nation-wide standardised tests) to get a Certificate of Education.

My state has also tied student attendance to the parents' Centrelink benefits, but that has had very uneven results. I have no idea what the threshold attendance of the children is for cut-off, or if it's just an endless series of warnings the parents get.

I cannot think of a time when meaningful action was taken against parents or students for student non-attendance.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 1:00 pm   #17
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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My state has also tied student attendance to the parents' Centrelink benefits, but that has had very uneven results. I have no idea what the threshold attendance of the children is for cut-off, or if it's just an endless series of warnings the parents get.

I cannot think of a time when meaningful action was taken against parents or students for student non-attendance.
What if the kids' parents aren't receiving any Centrelink benefits?
Would be interested to know what you consider to be 'meaningful action'.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 1:15 pm   #18
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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What if the kids' parents aren't receiving any Centrelink benefits?
Would be interested to know what you consider to be 'meaningful action'.
Well, exactly - it's toothless for parents not on Centrelink.

"Meaningful action" would be something that resulted in a change of behaviour.

There doesn't seem to be much recognition in the Education Departments around Australia that, if a kid misses the better part of (let's say) Year 8 and Year 9 - they can't just slot back in at Year 10 with a few weeks of catch-up, like nothing has happened.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 1:57 pm   #19
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

Thanks. I guess that's one of my worries that my son has a february birth date and I don't want him to miss a year if you know what I mean because in the UK we do it September to September.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 8:25 pm   #20
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Well, exactly - it's toothless for parents not on Centrelink.

"Meaningful action" would be something that resulted in a change of behaviour.

There doesn't seem to be much recognition in the Education Departments around Australia that, if a kid misses the better part of (let's say) Year 8 and Year 9 - they can't just slot back in at Year 10 with a few weeks of catch-up, like nothing has happened.
I think you live in WA? I don't believe there's a lack if recognition from the WA Dept. of Education regarding the importance of regular school attendance, and there are many local programs, both community and government driven, to encourage that as well as policy on a State wide level. Some groups are very difficult to engage but there has been some successes, although even one child missing a decent education is one too many.

It's a complex problem with no definitive solution, however I don't believe that linking school attendance to income support benefits is the way to go. As you rightly point out, that only applies if the parents are actually receiving benefits, but more importantly I can't see how removing financial support for a struggling/dysfunctional family would result in better outcomes for their children.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 8:35 pm   #21
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Thanks. I guess that's one of my worries that my son has a february birth date and I don't want him to miss a year if you know what I mean because in the UK we do it September to September.
If it helps, my son also has a late February birthday, and he started school at 4, turning 5 about a month after he started. We could have held him back for another year, and many parents do this, but we felt he was ready and it certainly doesn't seem to have had any serious effect on his marks, etc. that we can see.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 9:58 pm   #22
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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I think you live in WA? I don't believe there's a lack if recognition from the WA Dept. of Education regarding the importance of regular school attendance, and there are many local programs, both community and government driven, to encourage that as well as policy on a State wide level. Some groups are very difficult to engage but there has been some successes, although even one child missing a decent education is one too many.

It's a complex problem with no definitive solution, however I don't believe that linking school attendance to income support benefits is the way to go. As you rightly point out, that only applies if the parents are actually receiving benefits, but more importantly I can't see how removing financial support for a struggling/dysfunctional family would result in better outcomes for their children.
I also don't agree with linking attendance to Centrelink. In many cases parents do try but there is also only so much that they too can do. I also don't think the government actually has the will to enforce it. I just pointed out that it was something the government has tried.

I strongly disagree with automatic year-level promotion for non-attenders. If the kids cannot do the Year 7 work how are they ever going to do the Year 10 work? So then when they do come back into school, they are hopelessly behind and can't possibly keep up.

If all it takes is a few weeks of intense catch-up to get a kid from Year 7 level to Year 10 level - as some in Education Departments seem to think - why are we making everyone else who did come, do a whole year in Year 8 and Year 9?

Just passing kids along whether they come or not doesn't serve ANYONE - it puts the kids not attending squarely behind the 8-ball when they do come back, and it makes a mockery of the system for those who are coming regularly.

I do also agree that there is no easy solution - including with the assumption that a traditional school model is for everyone. Traditional schools can't be everything to everyone, and some kids don't fit in for a variety of reasons and need something completely different.

Last edited by carcajou; Nov 9th 2017 at 10:00 pm.
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Old Nov 9th 2017, 10:44 pm   #23
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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I also don't agree with linking attendance to Centrelink. In many cases parents do try but there is also only so much that they too can do. I also don't think the government actually has the will to enforce it. I just pointed out that it was something the government has tried.

I strongly disagree with automatic year-level promotion for non-attenders. If the kids cannot do the Year 7 work how are they ever going to do the Year 10 work? So then when they do come back into school, they are hopelessly behind and can't possibly keep up.

If all it takes is a few weeks of intense catch-up to get a kid from Year 7 level to Year 10 level - as some in Education Departments seem to think - why are we making everyone else who did come, do a whole year in Year 8 and Year 9?

Just passing kids along whether they come or not doesn't serve ANYONE - it puts the kids not attending squarely behind the 8-ball when they do come back, and it makes a mockery of the system for those who are coming regularly.

I do also agree that there is no easy solution - including with the assumption that a traditional school model is for everyone. Traditional schools can't be everything to everyone, and some kids don't fit in for a variety of reasons and need something completely different.
Yep, plopping kids into higher years when they haven't completed earlier years is worse than stupid, it's giving up on the kids themselves. Here's hoping that the (admittedly slow) progress being made continues. Wouldn't it be wonderful to eventually see an entire generation of Australian kids reach their potential
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 4:06 am   #24
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

Hi, this is Teresa, I understand your confusion with preschools and schools in Victoria, it is different to the UK.
To clarify -
Being baptised gets priority in a Catholic school but as it's fee paying many non Catholics attend, choice being affordability and school ethos.

Your son can attend school at 4 if he turns 5 before 30th April, or he can wait another year. It is true that most children are 5 turning 6 but it is your choice, depending on how you feel he will cope socially and academically.

Childcare in Melbourne is called Long Day Care, 6.30am - 6.30 pm. They are privately owned.
Kindergarten/preschool is equivalent to Nursery School and is sessional .
3 yr old kinder usually offers between 3 and 6 hours a week, not funded by the government.
4 yr old kinder offers 15 hours a week, this is funded by the government. They are 'not for profit ' and are Community/Committee run or Cluster managed, only occasionally attached to schools (Private)
Your work hours will obviously impact on your choice of childcare. Some kindergartens are now offering longer hours so you could check out both.

My work colleague lives in Mount Waverley and sends her children to Mount Waverley Primary and Secondary School.
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Old Nov 10th 2017, 4:08 am   #25
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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I don't know about this compulsory at 6 thing, everyone I've every known (as an Australian native) started school when they were 5 or the year they turned 5.
Used to depend on the state you lived in. Six in the calendar year used to be the norm in some states with year 1 being the first compulsory year. Five in the first half of the year with the introduction of the prep year is now the standard in most states.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 10:10 am   #26
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Hi, this is Teresa, I understand your confusion with preschools and schools in Victoria, it is different to the UK.
To clarify -
Being baptised gets priority in a Catholic school but as it's fee paying many non Catholics attend, choice being affordability and school ethos.

Your son can attend school at 4 if he turns 5 before 30th April, or he can wait another year. It is true that most children are 5 turning 6 but it is your choice, depending on how you feel he will cope socially and academically.

Childcare in Melbourne is called Long Day Care, 6.30am - 6.30 pm. They are privately owned.
Kindergarten/preschool is equivalent to Nursery School and is sessional .
3 yr old kinder usually offers between 3 and 6 hours a week, not funded by the government.
4 yr old kinder offers 15 hours a week, this is funded by the government. They are 'not for profit ' and are Community/Committee run or Cluster managed, only occasionally attached to schools (Private)
Your work hours will obviously impact on your choice of childcare. Some kindergartens are now offering longer hours so you could check out both.

My work colleague lives in Mount Waverley and sends her children to Mount Waverley Primary and Secondary School.

Thank you so much that really helps! I had a meeting with my older son's nursery yesterday I do feel that he would cope well being at school but we will see. This is all great and I really feel much more informed about making the applications to come to Australia now. We are meeting with the reverend next week to discuss baptisms for the boys so that may help with the Catholic schools but end of the day it's got to be a school that I feel is right for the boys.

I'm definitely going to look into Mount Waverley. We are a mixed race family (Chinese and English) so hoping that it provides us with a good diverse match.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 12:49 pm   #27
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Thank you that's really helpful. So I would be coming on a employer sponsored so I think it's called a 457 skilled visa I'm not 100% because I think they changed the name. Those costs aren't dissimilar to the costs here in the UK so that's good to know.

In regards to the Catholic schools are they generally better like grammar schools here? I'm just trying to work out why they cost but obviously much cheaper than private school. Also in terms of the Catholic school does your child need to be baptised? We ate regular church goers but feel it should up to our children to decide about being baptized when they are older.
It is very important that you understand that a temp visa does never transfer to PR and even if you are eligible for PR now, it doesn't mean you will be in the future. The lists and the rules change all of the time - massive changes this year and big ones expected next year. So need to make the assumption that you will be returning at the end of the 457.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 12:56 pm   #28
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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It is very important that you understand that a temp visa does never transfer to PR and even if you are eligible for PR now, it doesn't mean you will be in the future. The lists and the rules change all of the time - massive changes this year and big ones expected next year. So need to make the assumption that you will be returning at the end of the 457.
Yep that's fine. End of the day if we're not wanted then we will return to the UK. The state department have told me that social work pretty much remains not the list year on year but you're right it may come off in the future. They've also told me that if i wanted to remain then they would just extend my visa or help me with applying for PR but of course that could all change.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 4:36 pm   #29
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Yep that's fine. End of the day if we're not wanted then we will return to the UK. The state department have told me that social work pretty much remains not the list year on year but you're right it may come off in the future. They've also told me that if i wanted to remain then they would just extend my visa or help me with applying for PR but of course that could all change.
Hmm, you’re probably right. Social work remains on the list for a very good reason. The turn over in child protection is huge and many UK social workers find Australian practices not to their taste or professional expectation. We (in our city) used to have recruitment drives in UK every couple of years because they would bring in a load, they’d start doing some great innovative work (from a fellow professional point of view), they’d get their knuckles rapped for doing it the wrong way and they’d leave and go home again. We had an executive who loved his trips back to UK every couple of years to recruit more.
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Old Nov 11th 2017, 4:57 pm   #30
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Default Re: Education/school/early years/ child care in Australia

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Hmm, you’re probably right. Social work remains on the list for a very good reason. The turn over in child protection is huge and many UK social workers find Australian practices not to their taste or professional expectation. We (in our city) used to have recruitment drives in UK every couple of years because they would bring in a load, they’d start doing some great innovative work (from a fellow professional point of view), they’d get their knuckles rapped for doing it the wrong way and they’d leave and go home again. We had an executive who loved his trips back to UK every couple of years to recruit more.

I think you have to go into it with your eyes wide open and without rose tinted glasses. It is by no means Rosey in the UK especially working for local authority. I've been qualified and working in front line child protection for over ten years and I've seen many a hopeful and optimistic social worker have their dreams dashed. I've also managed a number of Australian social workers who have enlightened me with practice in Australia. Many of them return to Australia as conditions in the UK aren't the greatest particularly with austerity measures. I think at times you have to be realistic about what you can and can't achieve but always continue to fight for what you believe in. In the UK we tend to recruit from India and get a whole host of social workers from Australia, India, new Zealand, Canada
and America so you get a great sense of what it's like in various countries.
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