Making the decision about which school to send your kids to can be agonising. Academic results, sporting resources, teacher reputation, bullying policy, on-site tutoring uniform requirements… these are just some of the considerations you turn over in your head. And we haven’t even factored in the very important question of location!
Choosing the best school for your children is made even harder when you start to factor in catchment zones and waiting lists. The situation is so tense in some circles that there have been schools known to accept enrolment enquiries and down-payments when the potential student is still in utero.
For many parents, this decision is very closely tied to where they will put down their roots and buy a home. After all, no one wants to add a 45-minute commute to their mornings to do the school run if it can be avoided.
With this in mind, we’ve done some research to uncover some of the suburbs around the country that lay claim to having the best primary schools. We’ve based our research purely on academic results, using the ranking system over at BetterEducation, and the results are in:
10 suburbs with the best schools in Sydney:
- Milsons Point
- Darling Point
- HMAS Rushcutters Bay
- Point Piper
10 suburbs with the best schools in Melbourne:
- Camberwell East
- Balwyn East
- Chapel Street North
- Domain Road PO
- South Yarra
- Glen Iris
- South Melbourne
- Auburn South
10 suburbs with the best schools in Brisbane:
- St Lucia
- Sunnybank Gills
- Chapel Hill
- Kelvin Grove
- South Brisbane
10 suburbs with the best schools in Perth:
- Broadway Nedlands
- Shenton Park
- Subiaco/Subiaco East
10 suburbs with the best schools in Adelaide:
- Linden Park
- Toorak Gardens
- Novar Gardens
10 suburbs with the best schools in Canberra:
- Russell Hill
- Parliament House
- HMAS Harman/Harman
- Deakin West/Deakin
- Capital Hill
10 suburbs with the best schools in Hobart:
- Tolmans Hill
- Mount Nelson
- Bonnet Hill
- South Hobart
- Battery Point
- University of Tasmania
- Sandy Bay
- Lower Sandy Bay
Of course, when it comes to education, the term ‘best’ is open to interpretation. To one parent, the best school is one that embraces an inclusive and supportive educational policy. To another parent, it all boils down to the academic runs on the board, while to other families, it’s the sporting and extra-curricular activities on offer that make a big impact.
Another huge factor is budget. At Australia’s most prestigious private schools, you can expect to pay upwards of $25,000 per year, per child for their tuition, whereas a public school education can cost as little as $200 for books, pens and a school uniform.
To find the best school for your child and make a decision that suits your individual family, our tips are:
- Visit the school personally – when doing a tour, you’ll get a feel for the school in terms of culture, resources and how the students and staff interact.
- Try to meet the principal – or at the minimum, meet a member of the teaching staff in the year your child will enroll in.
- Peek inside a classroom – to see what the resources are like. Do they have enough/modern equipment? Is the classroom colourful and do the students seem to be happy?
- Ask around – what is the reputation of the school in the local community?
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