Secondary school

In Western Australia (WA), secondary school runs from Year 7 to Year 12.

You can apply to enrol your child in WA Government schools that are approved to accept overseas fee paying students.

Students start Year 7 in the year that they turn 12 years old by 30 June.

Your child's visa situation determines the school application process, fees and enrolment conditions.

To view the school enrolment conditions, application process and tuition fees for your child, select a page below:
For children holding a student visa
For children who are dependants of a visa holder 

Student and teacher in classroom at Kent Street Senior High School

Facilities in secondary schools

Secondary schools are built to international standards and are set in landscaped grounds with high quality buildings and facilities which ensure students are able to study in safe, inclusive and welcoming environments.

Many secondary schools have specialist facilities such as art, music, performing and creative arts areas, science laboratories, libraries and sports facilities. They also have canteens/student cafeterias, air conditioning and undercover areas.


Years 7 to 10 (lower secondary)

Lower secondary school education continues to build on learning in primary school. Students study across the learning areas of English, mathematics, science, humanities and social sciences, the arts, technologies, health and physical education and languages.

Year 11 and 12 (senior secondary)

The Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) is awarded to secondary school students who satisfy prescribed requirements. Generally, students will complete two years of senior secondary study to achieve the WACE. Students can study a mixture of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), vocational education and training (VET) programs and endorsed programs. Not all schools offer the entire range of general and VET courses.

The WACE is recognised by:

  • university – for entry into undergraduate programs;
  • industry – for entry into the workforce; and
  • training providers – for entry into practically orientated training programs which prepare people for work.

To achieve a WACE, students are required to:

  • demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy based on the skills regarded as essential for individuals to meet the demands of everyday life and work in a knowledge-based economy;
  • complete a minimum of 20 units or equivalent;
  • a minimum of 10 Year 12 units or equivalent;
  • two completed Year 11 English units and one pair of completed Year 12 English units 
  • one pair of Year 12 course units from each of List A (arts/English/languages/social sciences) and List B (mathematics/science/technology); and
  • complete four or more Year 12 ATAR courses or complete a Certificate II course or higher. 

For a comprehensive outline of the WACE and the courses available, visit the SCSA website(opens in a new tab).

International students seeking to undertake the WACE examination pathway must consult with school administration and enrolment staff prior to commencement.

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank– university entrance score

The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is a number that indicates a student’s position in relation to all other WA students of Year 12 school leaving age. It takes into account the number of students with a Tertiary Entrance Aggregate (TEA) as well as the number of students of Year 12 school leaving age in the population of WA.

The ATAR results allow the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) to compare students across Australia for public university places. The ATAR is recognised internationally.

To find out more about the ATAR, please visit the TISC website ATAR page(opens in a new tab).

English language requirements and programs

For students who require additional English language support on arrival at a WA Government school, please view our English language requirements page.

Students with disability

Students with disability may need specialist disability provision or support to participate in education.  The Department of Education assesses the need for specialist disability provision or support on a case by case basis by prior to placement.

Secondary Education Years 7–10 CRICOS course code 052150M
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education Years 11–12  CRICOS course code 025727K
English as a Second Language (ESL) (Years 7–10) CRICOS course code 052152J
English as a Second Language (ESL) (Years 11–12)    CRICOS course code 025728J

Last updated on November 29, 2022