Private schools in Australia, also known as Independent schools, are in the tradition of English private schools. In contrast to Australian state high schools, which must accept all students in their catchment area, private schools can choose their students. In addition, private schools often offer academic scholarships to attract talented students. This leads to private schools gaining better overall academic results and in some cases, the development of elite schools. This includes many of the oldest and traditional schools in the country with gorgeous historical buildings on spacious, park-like grounds.
Thanks to their very good financial resources, private schools also tend to have extensive teaching and sporting facilities, beyond that available at most state schools. This can include state-of-the-art music and art studios and theatres where full productions can be held. Most private schools have modern sports halls, extensive sporting fields, tennis courts and swimming pools and offer sports not available at state schools such as rowing and polo. Private schools therefore have incredibly good sports programs and many sports clubs with after school training. On Saturday mornings private schools regularly play against each other in competitions.
Private schools are the only schools in Australia that offer the option of on-campus boarding. Boarding accommodation is available in individual or shared rooms in small, family-like communities where students live, eat and study together after school hours. Live-in boarding staff are responsible for the health and well-being of all boarders and boarders have after-hours access to school facilities including music studios, the library and most sports facilities.
Boarding is a great way to make close, life-long relationships with Australian boarding students. On weekends there are regular joint activities in the form of excursions, camps, cultural or sports competitions. Even during term breaks, students can join camps lasting several days and accompanied longer trips within or outside Australia or be invited home by their Australian boarding friends who come from outback farms.
Altogether, private schooling in Australia makes an attractive option for international students: high standards of academic achievement and pastoral care with great facilities and sporting options. In addition, many private schools in Australia are IB World Schools and offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a world-recognised curriculum for high academic achievers that prepares students for university study.
Highschool Australia currently offers 19 co-educational private schools in four Australian states. These are listed below together with a brief overview of each school. The link below the school emblem leads to the detailed school description in a new window.
- Queensland: 11 schools, 6 with boarding
- New South Wales: 1 school
- South Australia: 3 schools, 2 with boarding
- Victoria: 1 school with boarding
- Tasmania: 2 schools with boarding