Dependant schooling

International students’ children who come to Western Australia must attend school while residing in the State and may be enrolled in either a government or non-government school. There are fees and expenses required for both.

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

It is important that you are aware of the conditions regarding dependant schooling before you arrive in Australia.

General information

The Western Australian Government agency TAFE International WA, (formerly ETI), is responsible for placing international students’ children in government schools. The TAFE International WA Study at School webpage provides further information so you can be informed about the educational and school structure in Western Australia. It is important you know your visa class to determine your child’s access to the public school system.

TAFE International's school placement rules vary for different visa categories because of Western Australian law and government policy. Please note, you are not guaranteed a place in the nearest school to where you live.


In addition to tuition fees (which are waived for master's 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 AUD$60 per year, per child, for primary school and between AUD$235-500 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.

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, 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, refer to TAFE International's English Language Requirements page.

Dependants with special needs

If your child has special needs (learning difficulties or a disability), they may be required to attend a school designed to meet their specific needs. Costs may be significant and it is advised that you disclose your child’s requirements prior to arrival.

Before arrival

Before your dependant arrives in Perth, you must contact TAFE International WA at 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)


Visas for dependent children must be obtained through the Department of Home Affairs at your nearest Australian Embassy.


It is essential to bring your dependant’s immunisation records, birth certificates and the latest original school report AND copies translated into English by a professional translator.

Australia Awards, UWA and Commonwealth Scholarships (visa classes 500, 573, 574 and 576) students

  • There are no tuition fees for this category of student.
  • Other fees, as mentioned above, are payable. This may include voluntary and other direct school expenditure requirements, such as uniforms.
  • Students on these scholarships have local placement in local schools and will need to come to the International Sponsored Student Unit (ISSU) at UWA to commence the school placement process.

Master's and PhD students (visa classes 500, 573 and 574)

  • There are no tuition fees for this category of student.
  • Other fees, as mentioned above, are payable. This may include voluntary and other direct school expenditure requirements such as uniforms.
  • To apply, download and complete the Request for School Placement of Dependent Children form (PDF). The form and supporting documents need to be provided to the International Sponsored Student Unit (ISSU) at UWA. Once TAFE International WA has placed the child at the school with the available capacity closest to their home, they will inform the student directly by email. The email will state the school that has accepted the child and details to make arrangements to enrol at that school.
  • Please note, there is no guarantee of placement at your local school. While TAFE International WA will endeavour to place your child in a school with spare capacity, and close to your place of residence, in some locations it is hard to place your child close by.
  • Places for overseas students are not available at certain public schools, particularly senior high schools.
  • You must not directly approach the public school regarding enrolment.

Scholarships that also sponsor dependant children

Master's or doctoral degree students (500, 573 or 574 visa sub classes), who are in receipt of a scholarship that also sponsors their dependant children, are required to pay the mainstream tuition fee for overseas fee-paying students. This will be in addition to contributions and charges and any intensive English or specialist disability services, as assessed by the school. Students are also required to pay the contributions and charges that apply to all public primary and secondary schools.

Preliminary courses

Students undertaking preliminary courses before the master's or PhD program (e.g. an English language program, graduate diploma or bachelor's degree), must note the following:

  • Students must pay tuition fees until they are formally enrolled in the master's or PhD. See 'tuition fees'.
  • There is no guarantee of local placement.
  • The Confirmation of Placement does not guarantee you an enrolment in a public primary or secondary school. On arrival in Western Australia, should you wish to enrol in a public primary or secondary school, you will be required to complete the Overseas Fee-Paying Students Application Form (PDF).
  • You must not directly approach the public school regarding enrolment.

Current updates

Kindergarten placement

Kindergarten is not a compulsory school year in Western Australia and therefore, kindergarten placements will not be given as high priority by TAFE International as placements for compulsory schooling. Placements in kindergarten are currently extremely difficult to secure due to the lack of availability in most areas of Perth.

Primary school placement

TAFE International has advised that Nedlands Primary School cannot accept children for the remainder of the 2019 and 2020 school years.

Overseas student placement in senior high schools

In Western Australia, students attend high school for Years 7–12. 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 and John Curtin College of the Arts. You can view a list of available schools.

UWA Pre-Departure Guide

It is extremely important that you read UWA’s Pre-Departure Guide which will assist with the many questions you may have about your arrival in Australia.