Educational policy at the early, primary and secondary stages of education in Australia is the responsibility of the six states and two territories in which the Australian Commonwealth is organized. Preschool and school education have a similar structure across Australia, with slight variations across states or territories. The structure of the school system tends to present 6 primary and 6 secondary education courses (subdivided into two stages: 7th to 10th grades and 11th and 12th grades), with a total of 12 grades. Schooling is compulsory until the age of 17, except in the two federal territories, which is until the age of 15.
The Australian federal government coordinates the teaching and gives the guidelines of the Australian national curriculum . The states and territories are the ones who implement the real educational competences, both in the arragement of the public system and of the independent and private centers.
In addition, the independent and private centers are administered by their respective organizations, under the supervision of the educational authorities of the states and territories. In the case of Catholic denominational centers, the competent body is the National Commission for Catholic Education that has delegations in each state and territory. Other Christian denominational centers are regulated by the Australian Christian Schools , of the Australian Association of Christian Schools and Australian Lutheran Education . Private centers are also associated through the Australian Independent Schools Association . There are also centers not associated with any specific organization.
At the tertiary level of education, the Australian Universities organize teaching in a completely autonomous way, although the Australian Federal Department of Education through an agency , Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), performs a coordination, accreditation and evaluation work, which supplements that developed by the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA).
For the validation and homologation of studies and qualifications in Australia go to: Australia Education International .