Schools and early childhood services

There are more than 900 public preschools and schools in South Australia, located across the metropolitan and regional areas.

The majority of South Australian schools and preschools are run by the government (and are known as public schools). Alternatively, parents can send their children to Catholic or Independent schools (referred to as private schools).

Government schools in South Australia are non-denominational and the majority are co-educational.

The school year has four terms and begins in late January/early February, running through to December with an extended break over the summer.

Before children start school, there are a range of educational and care services for families with young children.

Children are eligible to attend one year of preschool, in the year before they start school. They must be enrolled in and attending school by the time they are 6 years of age.

Children complete reception and years 1 to 7 of their education at primary school, and years 8 to 12 at high school.

South Australian public schools follow an Australian National Curriculum until Year 10.

In the final two years of high school, students complete the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

SACE recognises a variety of courses including equivalent senior secondary education qualifications from across the world, university studies, vocational education and training qualifications, and community learning programs.

Many schools in Adelaide also offer the International Baccalaureate, a programme taught at more than 4,000 schools worldwide including France. To find an IB school in South Australia, you can visit the IB Schools Australasia website.

High schools also offer particular Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications in partnership with training organisations, so that students can begin their vocational pathway.

Families generally send their children to a preschool or school within their residential area (or school zone). To find a public school in your area, visit: