Top 20 Best Public Schools in Melbourne

Table of Contents

Public schools in Melbourne are often lauded for their competitive programs and academic results even when compared to some of the most luxurious local private schools. As a testament to that, we’re listing the best government-run institutions in the coastal capital based on overall performance.

On this list, we’re not just concerned about comprehensive academic education programs, student to teacher ratio and school rankings. We’re also looking at the school life as it has been describe to us by parents, students and the school community.

Click here to look for your ideal primary school in Melbourne.

Click here to look for your ideal high school in Melbourne.

Primary School

With so many schools to choose from that are worthy of acknowledgement and recognition, we elected to expand our listing to 10 schools and have them arranged in no particular order. To start, here are the 10 best schools for primary education in Melbourne.


Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Beverley Hills Primary SchoolBeverley Hills Primary School

The Beverley Hills Primary School in Victoria showcases a dynamic curriculum that centres on literacy and numeracy and features LOTE in Mandarin. BHPS is also known for its programs in performing arts, visual arts, the humanities and digital technologies. The school proudly champions artistic excellence and social responsibility in addition pursuing academic excellence at every level.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Serpell Primary SchoolSerpell Primary School

Serpell Primary School aims to reinforce the academic performance of their students by catering to individual learning styles and creating balanced collaborative learning opportunities. As an international school, SPS is also committed in promoting diversity in culture and language within its curriculum. On top of core subjects in mathematics, English, science and technology and history and geography, SPS students participate in various programs in sports and arts, as well as weekly classes in Mandarin and Greek languages.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Camberwell Primary SchoolCamberwell Primary School

Camberwell Primary School implements cross-curricula priorities of the Australian Curriculum and the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (AUSVELS), which gives global awareness added significance in the school’s curriculum. Camberwell is also known for its extensive bilingual programs, whereas science, mathematics and some aspect of Integrated Unit are taught in French. On top of its core programs, the school has specialist classes in performing arts, physical education, science and visual arts.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Balwyn Primary SchoolBalwyn Primary School

The Balwyn Primary School in Melbourne boasts a learning environment that promotes self-motivation, independence and collaboration among students. Notably, BPS employs a multi-age/developmental learning system that aims to give students more opportunities to learn at their own pace. Balwyn also offers a variety of specialist programs in music, ICT, visual arts and LOTE – Mandarin.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Canterbury Primary SchoolCanterbury Primary School

The Canterbury Primary School curriculum thrives by creating learning experiences that reflect real-life scenarios to keep students engaged in their studies and connected with the school environment. This is said to be most evident in the school’s student-centred approach when it comes to their Discovery Learning, Student Parliament and Makerspace programs. Meanwhile, aside from the core subjects in the Victorian curriculum, Canterbury sports expansive specialist programs in arts, music, physical education and Mandarin.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Oakleigh South Primary SchoolOakleigh South Primary School

Oakleigh South Primary School is proud of its strong focus on family/school partnerships and the development of the school as a community hub for students. Primary studies are primarily focused on literacy and numeracy while ample learning opportunities are also assigned to developing listening and speaking skills across students at all levels. OSPS students are also taught Japanese as well as given access to specialist programs in physical education and sport, performing arts visual arts and digital technologies.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Glendal Primary SchoolGlendal Primary School

Glendal Primary School curriculum framework incorporates the Victorian Curriculum with strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy. The school also offers extensive resources in support of explicit teaching methodologies centred on thinking and problem solving skills and a well-resourced STEM and digital technologies program. Glendal also offers two Languages Other Than English (LOTE) classes in Mandarin (Foundation to Year 6) and French (Years 5 and 6) as well as a specialist robotics program across the school.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Westgarth Primary SchoolWestgarth Primary School

The vision of Westgarth Primary School is to ‘foster a community that empowers everyone to be their best,’ which is highlighted across the school’s adapted Victorian Curriculum and its immersive student wellbeing projects. The school also offers a diverse portfolio of select learning systems and application including the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden (SAKG) program, the Department of Education’s Catching On Early: Sexuality education program and a visual arts program that is delivered in Spanish and follows the Content and Language Integrated Learning model (CLIL).

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Deepdene Primary SchoolDeepdene Primary School

Deepdene Primary School provides a differentiated curriculum program that is described as inclusive and developmental. Student well-being and digital literacy are also well-integrated into the curriculum at all primary levels. Meanwhile, Deepdene offers specialist programs health and physical education, French, visual arts, performing arts, STEM and instrumental music. Some of the notable outdoor facilities on the campus include synthetic courts for various sports, a sensory garden, an indoor gymnasium, and a hybrid literary and online library.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Hampton Primary SchoolHampton Primary School

Hampton Primary School’s curriculum is primarily inspired by its holistic philosophy that puts equal importance on academic performance, positive well-being and global citizenship. Notably, Hampton designed its own 21st Century Learning framework that aims to hone skills in collaboration, real-world problem-solving and innovation, knowledge construction, ICT use and implementation, self-regulation and skillful communication. Outside of its broad curriculum, students are provided with a range of exciting extracurricular activities that range from sports, coding, music education and interpretation, melodrama, chess and competitive aerobics.

High School

On the other hand, here are some of the best secondary schools in Melbourne that we have reviewed:

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Melbourne High SchoolMelbourne High School

Melbourne High School has a rich history that goes back to the establishment of the National Model School on Spring Street in Melbourne. The school has gone through a myriad of transformations but has retained its “Honour the Work” motto which underpins its values and modern curriculum. Most subjects are directly in line with the Victorian Curriculum, while others are electives and co-curricular activities that provide depth and personalized academic growth to each student.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Mac. Robertson Girls’ High SchoolMac. Robertson Girls’ High School

The Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School in Boon Wurrung is a government-selective entry high school that was established in 1934. The school runs a combination of core and elective studies like most secondary schools, although Mac. Robertson students are expected to undertake a full year of study in each Domain they choose. Meanwhile, Year 11 and 12 students can select between the pathways for The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), or the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Nossal High SchoolNossal High School

Nossal High School is a co-educational selective high school that draws pedagogical inspiration from famed Harvard Psychologist Howard Gardner. Overall, Nossal’s senior curriculum has been designed to accommodate the requirements of the Victorian Certificate of Education. Aside from the core VCE domains, students are also subject to classes in French, technology and the arts.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Suzanne Cory High SchoolSuzanne Cory High School

Suzanne Cory High School is 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. Notably, Suzanne Cory will also be offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme from 2024 onward. IB is highly regarded by both Australian educational institutions and international universities as an excellent tertiary preparatory course. The IBDP program is an alternative pathway option available for students in place of the standard VCE pathway.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Box Hill Senior Secondary CollegeBox Hill Senior Secondary College

Box Hill Senior Secondary College offers a highly regarded academic pathway to VCE success and university. They also have one of the most fleshed-out programs in the arts for both contemporary music and visual arts. Additionally, Box Hill is widely considered as a specialist school in select sports disciplines such as basketball and tennis. The school has standing partnerships with a wide range of professional and local sports clubs including the Melbourne Boomer’s Basketball Club, AFL Victoria and Oakleigh Chargers Football Club and the Collingwood Football Club.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Victorian College of the Arts Secondary SchoolVictorian College of the Arts Secondary School

The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School is Melbourne’s leading secondary school for the education and training of talented musicians, dancers as well as theater and visual artists. When it comes to academics, VCASS runs a curriculum that was developed around the Australian Curriculum, the Victorian Curriculum and the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). VCASS also has a well-regarded International Student Program with participating students coming from all over the world.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_University High SchoolUniversity High School

University High School is proud to raise students who have an active awareness of the political, social, cultural, economic and environmental global landscape. Aside from core studies, students can choose elective classes or seek help from the school community about their growing interests and preferred pathway following their senior years. Additionally, the University High School offers a wide variety of community-driven programs relating to the social, emotional and physical well-being of students.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Box Hill High SchoolBox Hill High School

Box Hill High School offers pathways for VCE and VCE Vocational Major (VM). Additionally, the school has been well-regarded for its expansive Victorian School of Languages program that includes VCE studies in Chinese, Dutch, German, Farsi (Persian), Modern Greek, Vietnamese, and Italian. The school’s longstanding motto is Ad Altiora Certamus or “we strive for higher things”, which can be traced back to the school’s foundation in the 1930’s.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Balwyn High SchoolBalwyn High School

Balwyn High School is a secondary school in Melbourne that prides itself in providing students with a truly holistic educational experience that promotes community responsibility, personal growth and academic excellence. The Year 10 program at Balwyn is fully electives alongside co-curricular and wellbeing programs that focus on mental health, resilience and future pathways and preparation for VCE.

Best Public Schools in Melbourne_Glen Waverley Secondary SchoolGlen Waverley Secondary School

Glen Waverley Secondary School is known for its GWSC instructional model that encourages commitment and cooperation among students and the community. Aside from this, the college is known for its dynamic multi-platform and multi-cultural Visual and Performing Arts programs alongside the core studies in mathematics, English, science and humanities. In addition, Glen Waverley offers a variety of co-curricular activities in music, sports, public speaking and stage production.

Summary of the Best Public Schools in Melbourne

A government-run school has its own advantages just like any private school. These differences, however, don’t necessarily determine which school is better or more successful at a glance. After all, some of the top-performing schools in Melbourne are proud public schools with a well-rounded education and rigorous academic curriculum.

For more tips, references and thoughtful overviews on different school programs and institutions, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and bookmark our page for updates.

Click here to read about the high school in Melbourne.
Click here to read about the best catholic schools in Melbourne.