Top 7 Best Public Schools in Sydney

Best Public Schools in Sydney – As parents, it’s natural to want the best education possible for your children. With so many schools to choose from in Sydney, how do you know which one will give your kids the best education they can get? 

Choosing where to send your child to school can be an overwhelming and confusing task, the key is finding a balance between an academic focus and extracurricular activities, giving students the chance to explore their interests and learn outside of the classroom while still getting an excellent education.

To help you find the best public schools in Sydney, we’ve put together this list of the top 7 best public schools in and around Sydney, as rated by students, teachers, and parents alike.

Top 7 Best Public Schools in Sydney

1. James Ruse Agricultural High School

Colloquially known as Ruse, James Ruse Agricultural High School is a government-funded co-educational academically selective and specialist day school established in 1959. 

If you’re looking for an academic challenge, as well as exceptional learning opportunities to prepare your kids for their post-school future, RUSE may be just what you’re seeking.

The school has an enviable reputation for encouraging excellence as well as respect and high achievement, while also encouraging its students to embrace service to their community and develop values that will set them up for success later on. There are also plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular activities, with over 30 school clubs and active participation in combined high school sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and much more.

Some of James Ruse Agricultural High School’s notable alumni are:

  • Elizabeth Joy New, a chemist and associate professor at the University of Sydney
  • Dhananjayan Sivaguru Danny Sriskandarajah, the Director-General of the Royal Commonwealth Society and CEO of CIVICUS
  • John Ho, an Australian businessman and founder of Janchor Partners
  • Maha Corbett, an Australian author and co-founder of
  • Rear Admiral Trevor Norman Jones, a retired senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy

2. Cheltenham Girls High School

Cheltenham Girls High School is situated in Cheltenham, New South Wales and has a capacity of 1,275 students. It was founded in 1957 by Bessie Mitchell who is also the school’s first principal.

Despite its vibrant campus environment, modern teaching methods and star-studded alumni, Cheltenham Girls High School is a premier all-girls school for those who don’t have much cash to spare. One of Sydney’s few single-sex institutions, Cheltenham provides a mix of academics and arts programs. While there are plenty of opportunities for elite students, it also welcomes underprivileged girls who wouldn’t otherwise have access to education.

CGHS is accredited by the New South Wales Board of Studies and is operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.

Some of Cheltenham Girls High School alumnae are:

  • Louise Robert-Smith, Ascham School headmistress
  • Jaclyn Moriarty, an Australian novelist and The Philadelphia Inquirer journalist
  • Julie Goodwin, an Australian chef, television presenter and Masterchef Australia cooking competition winner
  • Beverly Ruth Dunn, the 2014 Oscar Award winner for The Great Gatsby drama film

3. Sydney Grammar School

Established over 150 years ago in 1857 by Laurence Hynes Halloran, Sydney Grammar School is a top-notch, independent non-denominational all-boys institution. Situated in Darlinghurst, New South Wales, it offers a diverse program for students from preschool through year 12.

SGS is now also one of Australia’s most prestigious single-sex public schools. It is affiliated with organizations such as the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) and the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA).

Each year more than 1,871 students are enrolled at Sydney Grammar School and many of them go on to pursue a university degree after graduation. Students come from all over New South Wales and beyond to attend SGS because of its high academic standards.

Some Sydney Grammar School alumni, commonly referred to as Old Sydneians are:

  • Sir Edmund Toby Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia and a former High Court of Australia Justice
  • William Montague Charles Gummow, former High Court of Australia Justice
  • Peter Erne Baume, a retired Australian doctor and former Senator for New South Wales
  • Major General John Macquarie Antill, a senior Australian Army Major General during World War I
  • General Sir Henry George Chauvel, a senior officer of the Australian Imperial Force and Army Chief of Staff

4. International Grammar School

The International Grammar School is a multi-campus, independent, co-educational and bilingual education institution established on 3 February 1984 and located at Ultimo. It offers students a contemporary learning environment with global perspectives. Students can choose to study their curriculum in Chinese Mandarin or Japanese.

The school has been recognized for its excellent English language program and innovative use of technology. International Grammar School has consistently topped public schools ranking lists as one of Sydney’s best public schools over recent years.

IGS offers high-quality education and facilities, as well as arts, sports and extracurricular activities. All of that while maintaining a close-knit community with teachers who want to get to know their students. If you are looking for a school where students are provided great support so they can achieve their best, then International Grammar School is highly recommended.

Some of International Grammar School’s notable alumni are:

  • Basia A’Hern, an Australian television and stage actress
  • Rowan Witt, an Australian theatre actor who starred in notable movies like The Matrix, She Loves Me, The Book of Mormon, and many others
  • Beatrice Bertie Blackman, an Australian independent indie singer and songwriter

5. Killara High School

Killara High School is a public co-educational secondary day school established in 1968. Since it’s been created, KHS has been growing massively in reputation and achievements.

This school has an extremely large campus that is located in close proximity to beautiful Killara Park. It has a good number of sporting facilities and a great music program. The very academic faculty includes a number of AP classes, as well as many electives for students who love to learn and grow personally. It’s easy to see why Killara High School is ranked among Australia’s top public schools for consecutive years.

Students from grades 7 to 12 are educated here and enjoy access to some of Sydney’s best facilities and resources. KHS also boast an extensive curriculum array of performing arts activities, including opportunities for students to study music, drama and dance, as well as having to participate in sports like swimming, cross country, basketball, football, and many others.

The school has played host to notable alumni including Elle Macpherson and the currently highest-ranked chess player in Australia, Anton Smirnov.

6. Alexandria Park Community School

Abbreviated as APCS, the Alexandria Park Community School is a government-funded partially selective comprehensive co-educational K-12 day school established in December 2001 with the merger of Cleveland Street High School.

This great school has been shown to have above-average results and is an excellent choice for parents looking for a public school. Alexandria Park Community School shows how investing extra resources into improving a public education system can reap amazing results. With its key focus on literacy, numeracy and social development, students at Alexandria Park Community School are able to make strong academic gains.

If you’re looking for a school where your child can not only learn, but also feel safe and secure, Alexandria Park Community School is an excellent option. The staff at APCS are all committed to providing an engaging environment with a focus on supporting each student and their family’s needs. With an incredible after-school program, APCS ensures that all students have opportunities to succeed academically while still having fun!

7. Arthur Phillip High School

Founded in 1960, Arthur Phillip High School is a public, co-educational secondary day school with an enrolment of over 1,500 students. Their motto “The living force” is a symbol of their mission to ensure that every student has a fulfilling experience at APHS and makes their way into society armed with everything they need to be successful. 

This is made possible by highly engaging teachers, who are experts in their fields and are passionate about imparting knowledge to each student.

Final Words

Whether you just moved to Sydney or you’re a native, deciding on a school is never easy. But keep in mind there’s no school better than the others, they all serve the same purpose; Just that what might work for one child may not work for another. 

As every family has different priorities and needs, rather than choosing between a few big-name schools that are geographically convenient, seek out alternative options such as smaller local public or private options.

This list of the best public schools in Sydney should give you a pretty good idea of how much education Sydney has to offer. It’s a great town, with even better schools.



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