Which Are The Selective Schools in Australia?

Selective schools in Australia
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A selective school is best characterised by its system that groups students with other children that share the same abilities or interests. Their evidence-based teaching methods are also touted for helping students move through the curriculum at a quicker pace and explore concepts in greater depth and with measured complexity. If it’s something that you’re exploring for your kid, then read on to learn about the top selective high schools in your area.

To look up high schools in Melbourne, click here.

What are the School Criteria for Selective High Schools?

Identifying if your child has high academic potential is only the first step in determining whether they are in fact qualified for a selective entry school. Even then, the prospective student will be vying for the coveted and incredibly limited slots available to academically high achieving students.

Following the initial application, students are expected to pass an academic selective entrance test which is designed to measure the student’s faculty for problem-solving, comprehension, reasoning and creative thinking. Some schools conduct an interview prior to offering a spot at the school.


Selective school_Suzanne Cory High School

Victorian Selective Schools

There are currently 4 selective entry schools in Victoria; two coeds and a twin exclusive school for males and females.


Suzanne Cory High School – a co-educational, government school for Years 9 to 12 that uses a comprehensive curriculum based on internationally-recognised best practices and teaching models for gifted learners. Suzanne Cory was established in 2011.

Location: Hoppers Lane, Werribee VIC 3030

Nossal High School – a co-educational selective high school that draws pedagogical inspiration from famed Harvard Psychologist Howard Gardner. Nossal students are therefore respected as adults and are expected to know when and where to be at all times. Nossal was established in 2010.

Location: Sir Gustav Nossal Boulevard, Berwick VIC 3806


Melbourne High School – an all-boys selective entry high school with excellent VCE results. The century old Yarra-based academic institution is also well regarded for its programs in performance arts, sports, music and debate.

Location: Forrest Hill, South Yarra VIC 3141


The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School – an all-girls selective entry high school and sister institution of Melbourne High School. Aside from its community-driven ethos, Mac.Robertson is known for producing high-achievers in maths and sciences, physical education, performing arts and humanities subjects.

Location: Kings Way, Melbourne VIC 3004


Applications for Victoria selective high school Year 9 in 2025 are not open yet. To get notified when applications open, subscribe here.


Selective School_Baulkham Hills High School

New South Wales Selective Schools

New South Wales is home to 17 fully selective entry schools. Some of them are as follows:


Baulkham Hills High School – one of the government schools in NSW that accept students to its selective entry program upon their academic merit. The school is also known for its community-focused teachings and personal development strategies.

Location: Windsor Road, Baulkman Hills 2153


Caringbah High School – an established co-ed selective school primarily serving incoming students from private or government primary schools in the south-east metropolitan area. The school is also known for strong results in exam performance and academic competitions.

Location: Willarong Road, Caringbah 2229


Fort Street High School – a proudly multicultural, selective academic institution that offers a wide range of subjects for qualified students. Beyond academic excellence, the school puts great care and emphasis on developing emotional resilience and a collaborative spirit among its students.

Location: Parramatta Road, Petersham 2049


Girraween High School – a government-funded selective school with a focus on providing a balanced and positive education experience for students. Girraween is also known for its exemplary programs in sports, music, arts and other co-curricular activities.

Location: Gilba Road, Girraween 2145


Gosford High School – a proud academic institution serving the heart of Central Coast since 1927. The school prides itself in its diverse teachings and a rich suite of curriculum enrichment programs that are meant to challenge academically high achieving students as well as promote life-long learning habits.

Location: Racecourse Road, Gosford 2250


Manly Campus Northern Beaches Secondary College – NBSC boasts a safe and happy learning environment that develops and encourages talented and gifted learners as they pursue social and academic excellence. The school is also known for promoting cultural creativity, leadership, social responsibility and sports.

Location: Abbott Road, North Curl Curl 2099


Merewether High School – an established academic institution serving the Hunter Central Coast Region. Prospective students benefit from Merewether’s successful history of programs in leadership, sports, civic and cultural studies.

Location: Chatham Street, Broadmeadow 2292


Penrith High School – notably uses Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness alongside the work of Del Siegle and Betsy McCoach and their Achievement Orientation Model to enrich its studies for highly gifted learners. Penrith opened in 1950 as one of the region’s comprehensive schools before it transitioned to a fully selective school in 1989.

Location: High Street, Penrith 2750


Smiths Hill High School – takes pride in providing a safe, uplifting and rewarding learning environment for gifted and talented students in Wollongong and nearby areas. Additionally, Smiths Hill is known for driving active engagement in sports and cultural pursuits among its students.

Location: Gipps Street, Wollongong 2500


Normanhurst Boys High School – Normanhurst was established in 1958 as one of the region’s first comprehensive high schools before it transitioned to a fully selective school for boys in 1994. Normanhurst thrives in its philosophical approach to teaching and its extensive mentoring programs for notable pursuits in film-making, public speaking and robotics.

Location: Pennant Hills Road, Normanhurst 2076


North Sydney Boys High School – promotes an inclusive learning environment for boys who have shown academic excellence and vested interest in select co-curricular activities. North Sydney students undertake the ‘Falcon code’ of Camaraderie, Commitment, Compassion, Integrity and Respect.

Location: Falcon Street, Crows Nest 2065


Sydney Boys High School – the school is historic for being one of the first government high schools in NSW and for its track record in producing community leaders in law, the arts, business and other fields.

Location: Cleveland Street, Moore Park, Surry Hills 2021


Sydney Technical High School – an established selective school in NSW with a commitment to prepare and encourage students to achieve academic and social excellence within the ethical frameworks of integrity and responsibility. The school has a rich history that dates back to its initial formation in 1909.

Location: Forest Road, Bexley 2207


Hornsby Girls High School – an academically selective institution respected for placing high value on the development of leadership and a sense of community pride and responsibility among its students. Hornsby was established in 1930.

Location: Edgeworth David Avenue, Hornsby 2077


North Sydney Girls High School – celebrated for its diverse background sees more than 90% of students coming from households with English as an additional language or dialect. Its differentiated curriculum notably emphasises higher-order thinking skills and broad student initiated leadership.

Location: Pacific Highway, Crows Nest 2065


St George Girls High School – specialises in nurturing a high performing learning environment that is also supportive of the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of every student. St George was established in 1916.

Location: Victoria Street, Kogarah 2217


Sydney Girls High School – SGHS offers an expansive suite of dynamic co-curricular activities on top of chasing continuous academic excellence. These pursuits range from creative, intellectual, social, sports and intellectual.

Location: Anzac Parade, Surry Hills 2010


Applications are open for Sydney selective high school Year 7 in 2025 Mon 9 October 2023 to Mon 20 November 2023. You can apply here.

Virtual Selective High School

Aurora College – Aurora college was initially established as the state’s virtual selective school that caters quality learning to rural and remote areas, but has recently added selective opportunity classes to add further depth to its services and curriculum.

Location: In NSW rural host high schools

Selective School_Brisbane State High School

Queensland Selective Schools

There are currently four selective entry schools in Queensland, namely:


Brisbane State High School – the state institution is known for offering diverse learning opportunities in different areas of academia, as well as international studies and social responsibility. On the other hand, Brisbane State’s extra-curricular programs focus on sports, cultural activities and volunteerism.

Location: Cordelia St &, Glenelg St, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Year 5 process for Year 7, 2025 applications closed on Monday 4 September 2023 at 4:00pm (late submissions will not be processed). For more information on Brisbane State High School selective entry process, read here.


Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology Toowong – QASMT’s academic formula is rooted in its outstanding pastoral care system and community-centered philosophy. Creative pursuits and community service are the highlights of their co-curricular programs, while weekly sporting activities are also available for students.

Location: Bywong St, Toowong QLD 4066

Applications for Year 7 in 2025 closed 4pm Wednesday 23 August 2023. For more information on the application process. click here.


Queensland Academy for Creative Industries Kelvin Grove – QACI proudly classifies as an inclusive community of innovative and creative thinkers. QACI students work towards earning an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and are encouraged to develop global and intercultural perspectives and a passion for lifelong learning.

Location: Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove Urban Village QLD 4059

Applications for Year 10 in 2025 close Friday 31 May 4pm, 2024. For more information on application process for Year 10 enrolment, read here.


Queensland Academy for Health Sciences Gold Coast – QAHS’s diverse curriculum is primarily underpinned by its global education values that aim to propel students to achieve excellence and satisfaction in their academic pursuits and wellbeing leading to them adapting the qualities of a global citizen. Its Year 10 curriculum has been molded as preparation for an International Baccalaureate (IB) course.

Location: Edmund Rice Drive, Southport, QLD Australia 4215

Applications for Year 10 in 2025 close Friday 23 February 4pm, 2024. For more information, click here.

Selective school_John Curtin College of the Arts

Western Australia Selective Schools

There are only a couple of selective entry schools in Western Australia. These are:



Perth Modern School – students at Pert Modern School are taught under the principles of Gifted and Talented education, in which the curriculum is differentiated and additional programs are placed in order to continuously challenge and intellectually stimulate gifted children.

Location: Roberts Rd, Subiaco WA 6008

2025 application deadline closes on Sunday, 11 February 2024. For information on entry process, read here.


John Curtin College of the Arts – the school is known for its creative programs for gifted students, especially those in the creative domain. Additionally, John Curtin College has shown excellence in mathematics, English and science. The school follows the GERRIC education-based model for gifted learners.

Location: Ellen St, Fremantle WA 6160

Applications for Year 7 in 2025 close Sunday, 11 February 2024. For more information on the Gifted and Talented Program, read here.


NOTE: There are no fully selective schools in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia or Tasmania.


What is the Point of Selective Schools?

High-achieving students benefit from being in selective schools by spending more time with like-minded students and taking part in engaging and challenging activities that are more appropriate for their learning progress. Selective schools are also credited with helping academically gifted children fully achieve extended intellectual potential.


How Many Fully Selective Schools Are There?

At present, there are 17 fully selective institutions in New South Wales; 4 in Victoria, 2 in Western Australia and 4 in Queensland. There are no fully selective schools in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia or Tasmania.


How are Selective Schools Different?

In fully selective schools, classes are all academically selective. Meanwhile, partially selective schools may have one or more selective classes while the rest are non-selective. On the latter, the students qualified for selective classes undertake separate English, mathematics and science studies. Then, they generally join the non-selective students in other subjects.


Is it Worth it to Go to a Selective School?

In government schools, fees and contributions may be lower than independent schools, while often having similar academic success. Gifted students are also given more opportunities to collaborate with similarly talented kids, which can help them achieve their full potential as they transition. On the other hand, a selective institution may generate a more competitive environment for learning.


Summing Up Selective Schools in Australia

Getting into a selective school is a celebrated achievement on its own. However, the potential benefits for young learners could be even greater. Overall, choosing the right school for your kid is more than just about the prestige and exclusivity that comes with admission, since there are other factors that may take priority and become more relevant in the long-term. But if your children love challenges and have shown to really enjoy academic success, then a selective school might give them a boost in confidence and resilience that can aid them for life.