Choosing a school

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Schools vary a great deal, and finding the best available school setting for your child can be a challenge.

On this page:

In this section we outline options and issues to consider, and give tips about doing your research.

Video: Choosing a school

Some of the parents and carers interviewed for Learning Together share their experiences of choosing a school.

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Doing your research

Different school settings will work for different children and young people. The experiences of families involved in this project show that it’s really worth putting time into finding the best available setting for your child – one that is most able to meet their needs.

There are likely to be a range of school choices available to your child. Start your research early, to give yourself plenty of time to weigh up the options.

It’s a good idea to visit a number of schools, to get a sense of the different environments.

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Move schools or not?

Sometimes families decide, after a time, that a particular school is no longer the best option for meeting their child’s needs. Here we provide some reflections from other parents and carers, to help you consider whether to change your child’s education setting.

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Government school options

Victorian government policy supports your child’s right to attend their local neighbourhood school or the closest specialist school for which your child is eligible. Another option may be dual enrolment, where your child spends part of the week in a specialist setting, and part in a mainstream school. There are also some mainstream government schools that include specialist school programs and facilities.

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Other options

Other options include Catholic or independent schools – mainstream or specialist – or home-based options such as distance education or home schooling.

There are also government-funded ‘re-engagement’ programs for children and young people at risk of dropping out of school, or who are not currently in any education setting. Some programs provide a long-term education option, while others provide a ‘pathway’ back into the mainstream school system, or for older students, to training or employment.

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