NSW school system

The NSW Department of Education has been educating students in NSW government schools for over 150 years. The NSW government schools network spans over more than 2,000 schools across Sydney and the rest of New South Wales.

NSW government schools offer education to students studying in both primary and secondary school.

All primary schools and most high schools (secondary) are co-educational (boys and girls), while a small number of high schools are single sex (boys only or girls only).

High school students can choose from a range of comprehensive schools including specialist schools in performing arts, creative arts, sports, languages and technology.

Students who successfully complete Years 11 and 12 in NSW are awarded a Higher School Certificate (HSC), an internationally recognised qualification that allows students to apply for university study both in Australia and abroad.

Education pathways

Education Pathways in NSW Australia


Our academic school year runs from January to December and is divided into four terms.

Term 127 January - 6 April30 January - 12 April31 January  - 11 April
Term 224 April - 30 June29 April - 5 July28 April - 4 July
Term 317 July - 22 September22 July - 27 September21 July - 26 September
Term 49 October - 19 December14 October - 20 December13 October - 19 December

School enrolment dates:

Primary school students can enrol from Term 1 to Term 4.

High school students in Years 7-10 can enrol from Term 1 to Term 4.

High school students in Year 11 must enrol in Term 1 or at the beginning of Term 2.

Students in the Temporary Residents Program can enrol at anytime during the school year.