Sydney's Best Public and Private High Schools

If you're from Sydney, you might be curious as to which the top Public and Private High Schools are, we'll you're in the right place - keep reading to find out!

2 months ago   •   7 min read

By KIS Academics
Photo by April Pethybridge / Unsplash

Choosing the best school for achieving academic goals or catering to your interests is an extremely difficult process. This aims to aid in this decision process by providing information on the top-ranked public, private and selective high schools in Sydney.

On the basis of the 2021 HSC results, we have compiled details entailing the top high schools in Sydney. Within each category, you can see the school ranking within the category, overall rank (across all types of schools) and the success rate which refers to the percentage of exams sat by each school that achieved a band 6 (Distinguished achiever).

Top Public High Schools (non-selective)

Although government schools are quickly disregarded when looking for a school that will foster academic success, many public schools in Sydney are great options for those seeking high academic achievements.

Rank

Overall Ranking 2021

School

Success rate

1

65

Willoughby Girls High School

22.6%

2

72

Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys Campus

21.3%

3

102

Newtown High School of Performing Arts

17.8%

4

108

Cherrybrook Technology High School

15.5%

5

110

Cumberland High School

15.3%

6

116

Cheltenham Girls High School

14.8%

7

122

Engadine High School

14.5%

8

123

Burwood Girls High School

14.4%

9

125

Northern Beaches Secondary College Mackellar Girls Campus

14.4%

10

130

St Ives High School

13.9%


Top Private schools:

Independent schools greatly dominate the top-achieving high schools with 70% of the top 150 schools in 2021 being independent schools (105 schools).

Rank

Overall Ranking 2021

School

Success rate

1

4

Sydney Grammar School

56.1%

2

6

Reddam House

52.3%

3

11

Kambala

47.7%

4

12

Meriden School

47.1%

5

15

Abbotsleigh

43.8%

6

16

Ascham School

46.3%

7

17

SCEGGS Darlinghurst

42.2%

8

18

Moriah College

40.5%

9

20

Ravenswood School for Girls

38.7%

10

21

Loreto Kirribilli

38.7%

Top Selective Schools

Selective schools tend to consistently rank extremely high, with James Ruse Agricultural High School

Rank

Overall Ranking

School

Success Rate

1

1

James Ruse Agricultural High School

70.58

2

2

North Sydney Boys High School

59.29

3

3

Baulkham Hills High School

58.24

4

4

Sydney Girls High School

53.23

5

6

Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus

51.99

6

7

Hornsby Girls High School

51

7

8

North Sydney Girls High School

49.25

8

9

Normanhurst Boys High School

49.15

9

10

Sydney Boys High School

46.55

10

13

Conservatorium High School

43.92

Top 150 Schools

School

2021 Rank

2020 Rank

Success Rate 2021 (%)

James Ruse Agricultural High School

1

1

70.58

North Sydney Boys High School

2

3

59.29

Baulkham Hills High School

3

2

58.24

Sydney Grammar School

4

5

56.13

Sydney Girls High School

5

9

53.23

Reddam House

6

12

52.34

Northern Beaches Secondary College Manly Campus

7

13

51.99

Hornsby Girls High School

8

6

51

North Sydney Girls High School

9

4

49.25

Normanhurst Boys High School

10

7

49.15

Kambala 

11

21

47.68

Meriden School

12

17

47.09

Sydney Boys High School

13

10

46.55

Conservatorium High School

14

8

43.92

Abbotsleigh

15

16

43.79

Ascham School

16

11

43.77

SCEGGS Darlinghurst

17

14

42.15

Moriah College

18

41

40.47

Girraween High School

19

27

39.43

Ravenswood School for Girls 

20

58

38.73

Loreto Kirribilli

21

23

38.67

Fort Street High School

22

18

38.65

St Catherine’s School

23

29

38.42

Wenona School

24

15

38.26

Pymble Ladies’ College

25

31

36.67

Al-Faisal College

26

54

36.19

St Aloysius’ College

27

20

36.06

Kincoppal – Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart

28

56

34.81

St Clare’s College

29

86

33.74

Knox Grammar School

30

19

32.95

Alpha Omega Senior College

31

55

32.69

Al Noori Muslim School

32

32

32.47

Penrith High School

33

37

32.36

Tara Anglican School for Girls 

34

28

31.82

Cranbrook School 

35

36

31.71

Emanuel School

36

38

31.18

Tangara School for Girls

37

25

30.89

Loreto Normanhurst

38

26

30.3

MLC School 

39

51

29.71

Hurlstone Agricultural High School

40

33

29.65

St Luke’s Grammar School

41

24

29.55

Sydney Technical High School

42

42

29.17

Roseville College 

43

35

29.14

Caringbah High School

44

30

28.95

St George Girls High School

45

39

27.76

Frensham School

46

67

27.62

Sefton High School

47

70

27.53

Presbyterian Ladies’ College Sydney

48

22

27.28

Queenwood 

49

65

26.44

Merewether High School

50

50

26.21

The King’s School

51

34

25.7

Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College 

52

53

25.69

Parramatta Marist High School

53

46

25.53

SHORE – Sydney Church of England Grammar School

54

40

25.38

Barker College

55

47

25.13

Newcastle Grammar School

56

45

25

Smiths Hill High School

57

68

24.64

Brigidine College Randwick

58

49

24.62

Danebank – An Anglican School for Girls

59

75

24.35

Chatswood High School

60

69

24.16

International Grammar School

61

96

23.22

Santa Sabina College 

62

48

23.11

Bethany College

63

80

22.92

Saint Ignatius’ College

64

44

22.67

Willoughby Girls High School

65

59

22.59

Brigidine College St Ives

66

62

21.95

St Mary and St Mina’s Coptic Orthodox College

67

0

21.85

Masada College

68

113

21.75

St Ursula’s College

69

77

21.64

St Vincent’s College

70

52

21.45

Arden Anglican School

71

79

21.43

Northern Beaches Secondary College Balgowlah Boys Campus

72

60

21.31

St Augustine’s College Sydney

73

66

20.67

Freeman Catholic College

74

110

20.46

Central Coast Grammar School

75

83

20.42

Marist College Kogarah

76

117

20.38

The Scots College

77

63

20.28

Emmanuel Anglican College

78

149

20.26

St Spyridon College

79

74

20.11

Prairiewood High School

80

181

19.82

Clancy Catholic College

81

214

19.26

Mount St Benedict College

82

126

19.25

St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox College

83

88

19.2

Macarthur Anglican School

84

78

19.07

Cerdon College

85

163

19.01

Gosford High School

86

72

19

Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich

87

128

18.96

MacKillop College Port Macquarie

88

175

18.79

Macquarie Fields High School

89

124

18.76

Marist Catholic College Penshurst

90

129

18.73

The Hills Grammar School 

91

106

18.18

Amity College

92

119

18.1

Norwest Christian College

93

0

18.09

Newington College 

94

179

17.64

Marist College Eastwood

95

105

17.35

Stella Maris College

96

100

17.31

Aquinas Catholic College

97

102

17.24

Australian International School Malaysia

98

145

17.02

Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta

99

81

16.67

St Columba Anglican School

100

139

16.64

William Clarke College

101

94

16.3

Newtown High School of Performing Arts

102

91

15.81

St George Christian School

103

107

15.81

St Charbel’s College

104

141

15.74

Malek Fahd Islamic School

105

152

15.73

Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield

106

190

15.73

Mercy Catholic College

107

93

15.6

Cherrybrook Technology High School

108

90

15.53

Scots All Saints College

109

165

15.51

Cumberland High School

110

243

15.34

Blacktown Boys High School

111

272

15.05

Maronite College of the Holy Family – Parramatta

112

316

14.97

Rosebank College

113

156

14.87

Mount St Patrick College

114

232

14.81

Oxford Falls Grammar School

115

73

14.78

Cheltenham Girls High School

116

84

14.75

St John Bosco College

117

158

14.69

St Philip’s Christian College – Waratah

118

85

14.62

Pacific Hills Christian School

119

138

14.53

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College

120

99

14.46

Holy Cross College

121

297

14.45

Engadine High School

122

201

14.45

Burwood Girls High School

123

82

14.43

Domremy Catholic College

124

220

14.41

Northern Beaches Secondary College Mackellar Girls Campus

125

43

14.4

SCECGS Redlands

126

151

14.32

Marcellin College

127

116

14.15

Tempe High School

128

166

13.91

St Patrick’s Marist College

129

174

13.89

St Ives High School

130

111

13.85

Xavier Catholic College Ballina

131

146

13.78

St Patrick’s College (Strathfield)

132

125

13.75

Carlingford High School

133

97

13.74

St Euphemia College

134

104

13.66

Covenant Christian School

135

134

13.65

Redeemer Baptist School

136

0

13.41

Canley Vale High School

137

279

13.4

Epping Boys High School

138

76

13.39

Mary MacKillop Catholic College

139

241

13.39

Rose Bay Secondary College

140

95

13.38

St Pius X College

141

114

13.34

Blakehurst High School

142

176

13.24

All Saints Grammar

143

233

13.23

Menai High School

144

164

13.08

Blacktown Girls High School

145

203

13.05

Al Amanah College

146

0

13.04

Killarney Heights High School

147

87

12.79

St Joseph’s College (Hunters Hill)

148

71

12.73

Blue Mountains Grammar School

149

115

12.65

Bonnyrigg High School

150

221

12.62

Looking Past Academics

In addition to looking at the previous lists, it is essential to look past just the academic success of the school as it is also imperative to consider other factors which may cater to particular individuals.

Notably, some schools may excel in sports, which would appeal to athletically driven students. For instance, Endeavour Sports High School and Hills Sports High School are some of the many high schools which specialise in sports.

Another factor that may be overlooked is inquiring into the student-to-teacher ratio at schools of interest. This is important when determining the quality of education that will be received as lower quantities of students per class enable a more personalised experience and greater opportunity for assistance to each individual student.

The location and pricing of schools are also important to consider. A good school may require excessive travel which may be tiring for students and deplete their ability to complete study/school work. Besides travel time, consider transportation options if students cannot be dropped off and picked up. ​​Is it easily accessible by public transport? Moreover, private schools greatly excel in results, however, they may not be financially accessible for you. Hence, you may consider scholarship opportunities or high ranking public schools.


Written by KIS Academics Tutor Sandrine Maximous, for HSC Legal Studies, Maths and more! Sandrine is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies and Information Technology (majoring in Data Science) at MQU. You can view Sandrine's profile here and request her as a tutor.

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