Dependant schooling

International students' school-age children who come to Western Australia must attend school while residing in Western Australia and must be enrolled in either a government (public) or non-government (private) school. It is important that you are aware of the conditions regarding dependant schooling before you arrive in Australia.

Both public and private schools require payment of fees. Fees and access to the schooling system vary, depending on your level of study (undergraduate or postgraduate) and visa class.

Please see the information below and important links to ensure you are well informed on the processes for visa, placement in schools, the school fees and the forms and documentation required to enrol your child in school.

General information

The Western Australian Government agency TAFE International WA (TIWA) is responsible for placing international students' children in government schools. 

The TIWA website provides information about the educational and school structure, school fees, and charges in Western Australia. It is important that you read through the information below and on the TIWA website so you are aware of the conditions for dependant schooling in WA before you arrive in Australia. 

TIWA school placement rules vary depending on visa categories because of Western Australian law and government policy. It is important you know your visa class to determine your child's access to the public school system.

TIWA endeavour to place children in a school with spare capacity, and as close as possible to where they’re living. However, there is a high demand for places in public schools in WA and it may not be possible to place your dependants in schools closest to your home. Also, in some locations it is hard to place your child close by.

It is important to consider your travel to university and your child’s travel to school. Your child may need to travel on public transport if you do not have independent transportation.

A change of school request will only be considered in exceptional circumstances

English language requirements

UWA highly recommends that you commence your child's English language development prior to arrival in Australia.

If your child cannot speak English sufficiently well the school can require that they attend an intensive English Language course. In this case, you will need to pay between $1500 to $3000 per child.

For further information, please read TIWA English Language Requirements.

Dependants with special needs

If your child has special needs (that is, learning difficulties or a disability) they may be required to attend a school designed to meet their specific needs.

Fees for disability support may be significant and it is advised that you disclose your child's requirements prior to arrival.


In addition to tuition fees (which are waived for Masters and PhD students) there are other fees and expenses that need to be paid by all students. These may include a Voluntary Fee.

You are expected to pay these fees directly to the school as they provide value-added resources to your child's school. These charges are approximately $A60 per year, per child, for primary school and between $A235 - 500 for secondary school students.

Note: All fees are reviewed annually and fee increases will be published. You will also need to pay for additional items such as uniforms, books, excursions, sporting events and even may need to lease or purchase a notebook computer.

Age and your child's schooling year

Your child’s age and commencement periods:

  • Kindergarten is for children turning four years old by 30 June of the year they start Kindy (not compulsory).
  • Pre-primary is for children turning five years old by 30 June of the year they start pre-primary.
  • Year 1 is for children turning six years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 1.
  • Year 2 is for children turning seven years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 2.
  • Year 3 is for children turning eight years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 3.
  • Year 4 is for children turning nine years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 4.
  • Year 5 is for children turning 10 years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 5.
  • Year 6 is for children turning 11 years old by 30 June of the year they start Year 6.

You can find out what year your children need to start school by using the Department of Education's school age calculator.

Application process

Before you arrive

Before your dependant arrives in Perth, you must contact TIWA at [email protected] to request a Confirmation of Placement (CoP) letter. The CoP letter is needed when you apply for your dependant's visa.

You will need to provide:

  • a copy of the child/children's passport details page
  • a copy of the Primary Visa Holder's passport details page
  • a copy of the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) for the Primary Visa Holder (UWA student).

Note: The Confirmation of Placement does not guarantee you an enrolment in a public primary or secondary school.

Documents to bring to Australia

It is essential to bring your dependant's:

  • immunisation records
  • birth certificates
  • latest original school report and copies translated into English by a professional translator.

For information on the process and the required documentation, see the TIWA website.

After you arrive

On arrival, to request a place for your dependant in a Western Australia public primary or secondary school, please get in touch with the International Student Support office or email [email protected], to find out how to start the application.

You will be provided with a link to an online form where you submit the application and the supporting documents.

Supporting documents to submit in the application:

  • Visa details for both you and your children
  • Passport details for both you and your children
  • Your children’s immunisation records and birth certificates
  • Your child’s latest original academic report (translated into English by a professional translator)
  • Long-term Perth Residential/Tenancy Agreement.

The processing time for an outcome on your child's placement is minimum 8 to 12 weeks after application before the Confirmation of School Placement is issued.


There are a number of conditions for dependant schooling that are outlined below.

Scholarship holders

Certain scholarship holders are eligible for the same enrolment entitlement as local children.

If you're in receipt of one of these scholarships, please email [email protected] or contact the International Student Sponsored team to commence the school placement process.

Scholarships that also sponsor dependant children

Master’s or PhD students (visa class 500 or 573 and 574) who have a scholarship that also sponsors their dependant children, are required to pay the mainstream tuition fee for overseas fee paying students.

You will also need to pay school contributions and charges, and any intensive English or specialist disability services as assessed by the school.

Postgraduate students

Masters and PhD students (visa class 500, 573 or 574):

  • You may be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • Other fees, as mentioned above, are payable. This may include voluntary and other direct school expenditure requirements such as uniforms, etc.
  • You need to be enrolled in your course for the tuition fee waiver to apply.
  • If you discontinue, withdraw, or your enrolment in your course is cancelled, UWA will notify TIWA and you will become liable for mainstream tuition fees for your dependants’ enrolment.
Undergraduate students

Bachelor’s degree students (visa class 500, 570, 572 or 573):

  • Your child/children are not eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • Your child/children will need to be enrolled as full-fee paying overseas students for the duration of your visa.
  • You will need to liaise with TIWA to organise your child/children’s school placement.
Pathway students on preliminary courses

Students undertaking preliminary courses before the Masters or PhD Program (e.g. an English language program, Graduate Diploma or Bachelor's degree):

  • Your child/children will need to be enrolled as full-fee paying overseas students until you are formally enrolled in the Masters or PhD at UWA.
  • You may contact International Student Support team to discuss your options.
Other conditions


In Western Australia, Kindergarten is not a compulsory school year and therefore, kindergarten placements may not be given as high priority by TIWA as placements for compulsory schooling. 

School availability

Places for international students are not available at all public schools, this includes high school for Year 7 to 12.

Placement is not available at the following senior schools:

  • Churchlands Senior High School
  • Perth Modern School
  • Rossmoyne Senior High School
  • Shenton College
  • Willetton Senior High School
  • John Curtin College of the Arts
  • Primary School Placement.

Get in touch

For further information on the process, fees, and required documentation, please visit TIWA’s website.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or contact the International Student Support team.