The best high schools in Canberra

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Two Canberra Grammar students holding boxes of gifts

Students from Canberra Grammar School organising meals and gifts for the needy as the end of Ramadan approaches. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Gearing up to send your child to high school? It’s exciting, but the experience can also be daunting.

Choosing a high school is key to giving students a quality education and the best opportunities in life. After all, students spend a great deal of time at school, studying, learning and meeting new friends. This phase of their education is essential for growing into skilled, confident young adults. It’s also important to support students when selecting the best career path for their future.

When making a choice on the best high school, you’ll be faced with many questions. What attributes should you look for? What type of high schools are in Canberra? What factors should you consider when sourcing the ideal secondary institution?

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing the ideal high school, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

What makes a great high school?

Numerous high schools are dotted about the Canberra region. Options include government schools, religious schools, boys’ and girls’ private schools, and co-ed schools.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a high school.

  • Private versus public. Deciding on a private versus public high school is largely personal preference. You might want a school with a specific set of values, ethos, focus or extracurricular options. If so, private or independent schooling may be best.
  • Location. Where the high school is located is likely key. Is it in a convenient location, say within walking distance or easily accessible by public transportation? You also may need to consider if your family is willing to move or whether the student is willing to travel.
  • Specialist programs. Many top schools offer specialist programs for talented students. Options can include specialised academic areas, sports and/or music. These types of programs may be important to student needs.
  • Facilities. Explore the facilities the high school offers. Does it have fully-equipped science labs and art rooms, for example? What physical education facilities does it have? How about computer equipment?
  • Academic results. A school’s academic record is likely an important factor in selecting the best high school. You can check Better Education, a free school directory and information website. Better Education compares schools for academic record and other attributes. It also lists enrolments (see table below).
  • Cost. An important factor you’ll want to consider when choosing a quality high school is cost. Private schools, for example, charge large annual fees. It might also be worthwhile researching scholarship opportunities.

Here are the highest ranking high schools in the ACT for 2021. Combined they have an overall score of 96.3.

Top high schools in Canberra for 2021

Let us know which school in Canberra you believe to be the best. Share your experience in the comments section down below.

School Score English Maths Enrolments
Canberra Girls’ Grammar School 100 5 5 1090
Canberra Grammar School 99 4 5 2040
Radford College 98 4 5 1990
Brindabella Christian College 98 4 5 880
Telopea Park School 97 4 5 1540
Burgmann Anglican School 96 4 5 1490
Lyneham High School 95 3 4 1080
Marist College Canberra 94 3 5 1720
Canberra High School 93 3 4 880
Alfred Deakin High School 93 3 5 850

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Polly Brandreth Baker4:53 pm 21 May 20

Please can someone advise? My daughter is severely dyslexic and will be going into Year 11 next year. Which College would be better for Learning Support? Gungahlin or Dickson? Opinions on either would be welcome. We live in Gungahlin but Dickson isn’t far. Thanks

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