Regulation and Funding

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. However, the Federal government helps fund independent or private schools, helps fund public universities and subsidises tertiary education through a national student loan scheme, and regulates vocational education providers.

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.

For primary and secondary schools, a national Australian Curriculum is currently under progressive development and implementation. At present, parts of the Australian Curriculum have been adopted by some States and territories.

The academic year in Australia varies between States and institutions, but generally runs from late January/early February until early/mid-December for primary and secondary schools, with slight variations in the inter-term holidays and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities with seasonal holidays and breaks for each educational institute.