AEH Our school vs. university models are not like the US. Although university is becoming more so, in particularly with regard to our universities' increasing dependence on high fee paying overseas students.

We have far higher rates of children attending private schooling than I believe is the case in the US (about 30%) but our universities are almost entirely public, there are fees, but it is common to defer fee payment via a government loan which is indexed but interest free, and repaid via taxes only when the student's income is above a certain threshold (and repayment rate is variable based on income: 1% of your income once you are earning over $46k, moving up to 10% of income once you are earning $135k or above). Overseas student fees are completely different.

My child who has moved from a private high school to arguably the most prestigious university in the country will pay her own uni fees retrospectively, but it should not be financially crippling to do so. And those fees are, from memory, less than half what we were paying p/a for her schooling last year, possibly about a third. I feel like I looked at them when she signed the paper work and declared that her whole BSc degree would cost her what her last year of school cost us.

Also it's far less common to move away to university here. The vast majority of students go to their local institutions. There are boarding colleges, which are used by overseas, rural or interstate students. They are not, from what I understand, actually owned by the universities but are private establishments placed near universities. Also many such students just move into share houses, stay with family, etc. So universities are not set up around directly profiting from boarding.

Our experience of schooling here is that students with significant obvious disabilities are more likely to be well served in the public school system. Where as 2e children will have somewhat more chance of support at the most expensive private schools, who will put resources into helping every child achieve the results they build their reputations on (to justify their fees). Some private schools also do well with children with more obvious "traditional" disabilities, but others you would not be surprised to never see such a student. Generally private schools pay their teachers more, have better staff:student ratios, teachers have more non contact hours for planning and marking, and there is more chance the school will provide special ed services to a child who is not failing. The public system will not provide any supports to a child who is passing, just because they are performing woefully below potential. Also, if you have a child who needs keyboarding during primary years, there is a far higher likelihood of device use being common and/or supported at a private school. This is changing, with ipads at least becoming common (or even required) at public schools in some areas during primary years. But certainly 6 years ago when we moved one of our children to private school for yr4 the need for laptop use was a factor, sending a laptop to her public school would have been very problematic.

I have a friend with cerebral palsy who is a lecturer in the law department of one of the three major uni's where I grew up (two of which teach law). My take after talking to her recently, and from dealing with schools, is that universities are much more aware of their legal responsibilities with regard to student protections under disability law. Or, conversely that the majority of parents and school teachers have little to no idea of how our disability laws relate to education, but universities do...

I think there is a massive disconnect between what our laws say (somewhat vaguely) and what schools consider themselves to be required to do. I am genuinely of the belief that most teachers and school leadership are unaware of what the legal requirements actually are. I had no idea until very recently.