Types of schools

For size, flexibility of options and range of career development opportunities, the NSW Department of Education is the employer of choice for teachers.

We are the largest education provider in Australia and centre of educational excellence, with over 2,200 schools across the state.

Explore the diverse range of schools settings available with the NSW Department of Education.

Primary schools cater to students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

Primary school teachers plan and deliver educational programs to assist in the intellectual, physical and social development of primary school students who are typically aged between 5 and 11.

Secondary schools cater to students in Years 7 to 12.

Secondary school teachers are trained to teach one or more subjects to students in Years 7 to 12. There are eight key areas of study in NSW public schools, including English, mathematics, science, creative and performing arts, human society and its environment, languages, personal development, health and physical education and technological and applied studies.

Central and community schools range from from Kindergarten to Year 12. These schools provide the unique opportunity to diversify your teaching experience in both primary and secondary settings simultaneously.

Distance education centres provide educational programs to students who are geographically isolated or whose individual circumstances prevent them from regularly attending school.

Schools for specific purposes (SSPs) provide specialist support in a dedicated setting for students with moderate to high learning and support needs. They support students with additional physical, intellectual, neurological, emotional or social needs.

Other schools for specific purposes support students who may have experienced disruptions to their education, for example hospital schools, tutorial centres and suspension centres.

Are you interested in becoming an inclusive/special education teacher? If you are yet to commence or are currently studying an initial teacher education degree, explore the Teacher Education Scholarship. If you are a current teacher, explore the Inclusive Practice in Education Scholarship.

Selective schools cater for high potential and gifted secondary students. These classes help students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, using specialised teaching methods and educational materials at the appropriate level.

Environmental education centres provide various programs to visiting school groups.

Multi-campus colleges are comprised of a network of NSW public schools that function as a single educational entity across multiple geographical sites.

Connected Communities schools utilise the links between schools and their communities to strengthen educational outcomes for Aboriginal students and all students. It brings the community closer with the school, brings in Aboriginal culture, and allows the school to work with government and non-government groups to help support the education of the school’s students.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • School Workforce
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