Last month we brought you a list of the top ten private schools for girls in Sydney, and promised the list for boys would be next.
The girls’ list was well-received by many, but there were some who didn’t agree with our rankings.
We were careful to point out that research has shown private education isn’t necessary for academic success. The CEO of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Geoff Ryan, wrote to us concerned that “the complexities of schooling and school communities [were] reduced to league table rankings”.
“On average, students in independent schools score six ATAR points higher than students in government schools, after taking into account both student socioeconomic status and student prior achievement,” Ryan wrote, adding: “There are some misleading headlines about the performance and value of independent schooling. For those outside the education sector the research about school performance and the way it is presented can be seem to tell a story of conflicting evidence.”
School rankings inevitably draw criticism from some quarters because there are so many different ways of measuring academic achievement. This list is based on the percentage of students rated as Distinguished Achievers in the 2014 HSC, and it looks at private schools only, as listed on the Better Education website. We’re happy to emphasise this point again and acknowledge there are a range of other factors that go in to making decisions about schooling.
The Scots College is the most expensive school with annual tuition fees for a senior student costing parents $33,098. Meanwhile Parramatta Marist High School proved to be the most bang for your buck, ranking sixth on the list and offering the lowest tuition fees at $4,357 per annum for a senior student.
Other exclusive schools for boys that didn’t make the list but are worth mentioning include Newington College in Stanmore, St Patrick’s College in Strathfield, St Pius College in Chatswood and Trinity Grammar School in Summer Hill.
The list was based on the schools’ 2014 HSC performance through data on the Better Education website, and the percentage of students with Distinguished Achievers results.
Here’s your quick guide to private boys’ schools in Sydney.
Motto: Laus Deo, or 'praise be to God'.
Cost: Admission to year 7 is made on either the basis of prior attendance at one of the two preparatory schools or on the basis of entrance examination for boys who have not previously attended the school. A non-refundable application fee of $253 is payable with the initial application of a student. After notice is received confirming the admission of a boy, an entrance fee of $5,236 is payable. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $31,419 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 45.4% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 1129 students, as of 2013.
Destinations: In 2013, 183 students sat for the HSC. Of these students 83.1% of them placed in band 5 and 6.
According to the school's 2013 annual report, 'almost all boys... seek university entry. Most go either to the University of Sydney or the University of New South Wales. A smaller number go to other universities in Sydney, other states, or overseas. Some defer university studies.'
Notable Alumni: Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia. Andrew 'Boy' Charlton, an Olympic gold medallist swimmer. Banjo Paterson, bush poet and balladist, and author of 'The Man From Snowy River' and 'Waltzing Matilda'. and who now has a library in the school named after him.
Motto: Vitai lampada tradunt, or 'They hand on the Torch of Life'.
Cost: A non-refundable waiting list application fee of $400 is required upon application. A non-refundable enrolment fee of $1,000 is required for each application to secure a definite place at Shore. A non-refundable confirmation fee of $2,000 is payable for final confirmation approximately two years prior to commencement. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $27,300 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 34.5% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: Approximately 1600, with 1400 located at the North Sydney Campus.
Destinations: 'Our research indicates that as a group Shore boys consistently perform in the HSC at a significantly higher level than would be predicted on the basis of ability. Shore also regularly produces boys who perform in the highest percentile band in the HSC examinations. In recent years students have been placed in the top ten places in the State in a variety of subjects and over
75% of Shore students have consistently gained entrance to university course,' reads the school's prospectus.
Notable Alumni: Roger Corbett, former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, former CEO of Woolworths Limited and board member of Wal-Mart. Sir Frank Packer, Australian media proprietor and father of the late Kerry Packer. Chris Taylor, comedian, writer and former radio host from Sydney. Phil Waugh, former Australian rugby union footballer for the Wallabies.
Motto: Ad majora natus, or 'born for greater things'.
Cost: A non-refundable application fee of $250 is payable at the time the application for enrolment is forwarded to the college. If unsuccessful for any particular year, applicants may apply for a later year of entry, pay a reduced application fee of $200 and sit another entrance examination. Should acceptance be granted, a non-refundable acceptance fee of $2,300 will become payable. Tuition fees for a student in year 12 are $15,952 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 34.4% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 925 students in Years 7 to 12, as of 2013.
Destinations: 'Almost all graduates received offers of university places. A number of students have deferred study in 2014 to go on exchange programmes, do a 'gap' year, or work and travel, either doing six months or one year service in Thailand, or a service year in Micronesia. Others are also doing service placements in Africa and the Pacific,' reads the school's annual report.
Notable Alumni: Joe Hockey, Federal Treasurer of Australia. Bernard Foley, Australian rugby union player for the Wallabies. Anh Do, author, actor and comedian. Don Burke, television personality best known as the host of Burke's Backyard.
Motto: Esse quam videri, or 'to be rather than to seem to be'.
Cost: A non-refundable application for fee of $300 is required upon application. A non-refundable enrolment fee of approximately $7,000 is then required. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $32,788 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 28.6% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: Approximately 960 students.
Destinations: The majority, 98.7% of the 2013 student cohort completed their Higher School Certificate and went on to: a tertiary institution; overseas; TAFE or colleges to further their education. In 2014, 28 boys gained entry in 2013, 22 gained entry to the University of Sydney and 19 to UTS, Sydney.
Notable Alumni: David Gyngell, CEO of Channel Nine. Kerry and James Packer, media tycoon and entertainment tycoon respectively. David Griffin, former Lord Mayor of Sydney.
Motto: Virile agitur , or 'the Manful thing'.
Cost: A non-refundable application fee of $380 is required upon application. A non-refundable enrolment fee of $2,620 is then required, followed by. A non-refundable entrance fee of $2,300 is payable approximately two years prior to commencement. Tuition fees for a student in years 11-12 are $28,440 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 25.1% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 1677 senior school students.
Destinations: 'Of the Year 12 cohort who completed the Higher School Certificate, the vast majority applied for and gained successful entry to tertiary institutions, such as university to study a degree course, TAFE or private colleges to participate in certificate or diploma courses,' reads the school's 2013 annual report.
'Very few Knox Year 12 students were not in the work force or studying at tertiary level or both in the second year after the completion of their Higher School Certificate.'
Notable Alumni: David Clarke, chairman of the Macquarie Bank. Peter FitzSimons, Columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and former Wallabies player. Hugh Jackman, actor. John Laws, radio presenter.
Founded: 1820 .
Motto: Fortior ito, or 'Go forth with strength'.
Cost: A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required upon application. An acceptance fee of $250 is then require upon confirmation of a place at the school, this fee then goes towards the child's school fees the following year. Tuition fees for a student in year 12 are $4,351 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 25.1% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 1006 students, as of 2013.
Destinations: Of the students who completed year 12 in 2013 83% of people attended university, 7% attended TAFE, 6% entered the workforce, while it is unknown what 4% of the student body did.
Notable Alumni: Mick Keelty, former Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. Paul Hogan, comedian and actor. Paul Gallen, professional rugby league footballer.
Motto: Utinam patribus nostris digni simus, or 'O that we may be worthy of our forefathers'.
Cost: A non-refundable enrolment fee of $500 is required upon application. A non-refundable entrance fee of $5,000 is payable upon acceptance. Tuition fees for a student in year 12 are $33,098 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 23.6% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: Approximately 1,075 students.
Destinations: In the 2013, 186 students qualified for university entrance. 33% of these students went to the University of Sydney, 25% went to the University of New South Wales and 9% went to UTS Sydney.
Notable Alumni: Brett Whiteley, artist. Lee Freedman, racehorse trainer. Dr. Graeme Clark, key figure in the research and development of the Bionic Ear. Charlie Teo, high-profile neurosurgeon. Peter Dowding, former Premier of Western Australia.
Motto: Fortiter et fideliter, or 'Bravely and faithfully'.
Cost: A non-refundable registration fee of $250 is required for each students application. Upon acceptance to the school, each family must also pay a non-refundable family admission fee of $3,600. Tuition fees for a student in year 12 are $31,581 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 22.5% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 1,173 students, as of 2013.
Destinations: '207 boys sat the HSC in 2012. 177 or 85.5% received an offer to University that included 7 overseas students. Those remaining boys have received apprenticeships or work placements,' reads the school's 2013 annual report.
Notable Alumni: Lionel Lee, CEO of Bing Lee. Mike Baird, Premier of NSW. Michael Blakemore, actor, theatre director and film maker. John Marsden, author. Maha Vajiralongkorn, the crown Prince of Thailand. The three sons of the king of Malaysia, Syed Zainal Anwar, Syed Zainal Azni and Syed Zainal Rashid.
Motto: Quantum potes, tantum aude, or 'as much as you can do, so much dare to do'.
Cost: A non-refundable application fee of $330 must be paid for a student to be placed on the waiting list for the school. Upon acceptance to the school, a non-refundable enrolment fee of $4,20 is payable to confirm the offer of place. Tuition fees for a student in year 12 are $24,600 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 19.9% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: Approximately 1,500 students (years 5-12).
Destinations: An 'overwhelming majority of graduates continue on to university at the completion of their school education – with most attending universities in the Sydney area', according to the school's annual report for 2014.
'Some graduates choose to defer their university place for a year and accept a ‘gap year’ position at schools overseas – primarily in the UK and Ireland. A small minority of graduates choose to pursue full-time employment.'
Notable Alumni: Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia. Paul Ramsay, founder of Ramsay Health Care. Andrew O'Keefe, TV host and presenter. Jordan and Zac Stenmark, models. The members of Art vs. Science, Jim Finn, Dan McNamee and Dan Williams. Dr Walter Burfitt, co-founder of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Barnaby Joyce, Federal Minister for Agriculture. Tom Bathurst, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Motto: In meliora contende, or 'Strive for better things'.
Cost: When a boy is registered for possible future enrolment, an application fee of $200 is payable. This amount is not refundable. Before a boy’s enrolment can then be confirmed a non-refundable registration fee of $3,000 is payable. Tuition fees for a student in years 7-12 are $27,780 per annum.
2014 HSC result: 18.2% Distinguished Achievers.
Size: 1062 students, as of 2013.
Destinations: '167 (84%) students from the HSC class of 2014 received offers of university places through UAC (NSW universities) or the University of Notre Dame (Early Entry offers only),' a spokesperson from the school told Business Insider.
'Students who received offers from interstate universities or ‘main round’ offers from the University of Notre Dame are not recorded in this data. Students who will receive offers in the later UAC rounds are not recorded in this list. 12 SJC HSC 2014 students are not eligible for UAC offers as they did not apply for ATARs.
'Four students secured places to study medicine.'
Notable Alumni: Anthony Field, singer for The Wiggles. Tom Gleeson, comedian, TV personality. John O'Neill, former CEO of the Australian Rugby Union. Former rugby player for the Wallabies, Kurtley Beale.