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It’s a given that parents want the best for their children. When it comes to education, this notion stands truer than ever. We want our children to have the best education possible but what does it cost to send your child to a private school? And, does it necessarily follow that those graduating from Australia’s most expensive schools gain better results?

At some point most parents will have asked themselves these questions. And while academic results are important, what about the development of interpersonal skills to complement them? After all, both are essential when embarking upon a successful career in the future.

With all things considered, should we send our kids to public or private school? For some, the private school system may seem out of reach, or they have a strong belief in the public education system, so it’s public schools all the way. While for others, a private school education is simply a given with schools being chosen before children are even born.

This is an important decision – as choosing a private school for your children can be a huge financial commitment. However, the key to ensuring a private school education for your children is to start planning for it as early as possible. This applies to whether you’re seeking one of the most prestigious schools in Australia or one that specialises in your child’s interests or natural abilities.

Futurity has always been firm advocates in planning for children’s education. For the past few years, we have provided an annual rundown of the top ten most expensive schools in Australia. The results are now in for 2023, and for the first time ever the top ten most expensive schools have all broken the $40,000 barrier in terms of tuition fees.

What is the most expensive school in Australia?

Charging $46,344 for a Year 12 day student, Geelong Grammar School takes the top spot as the most expensive school in Australia once again.
The top ten most expensive schools in Australia in 2023

All fees include any compulsory levy charged. Figures exclude application or enrolment fees.

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $46,344
Location: Corio, Victoria

Once again, Geelong Grammar School is officially the most expensive school in Australia. The school itself is split into four campuses: Corio, Bostock House, Toorak Campus and Timbertop – where King Charles III spent two terms in 1966. The school’s history goes back more than 165 years and bases its approach around three educational pillars – adventure education, positive education and creative education.

Notable former students – King Charles III, Malcolm Fraser, Portia de Rossi, Rupert Murdoch, Missy Higgins, Kerry Packer, Sam Newman

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $46,300
Location: Rose Bay, New South Wales

With a slight increase on 2022’s cost of tuition, Kamabala Church of England Girls’ School comes in at #2 on our list – only $44 per year behind the most expensive in Australia. Based on a single campus that overlooks Sydney Harbour, Kambala School lists humanity, courage, curiosity and respect as its four main values.

Notable former students – Michelle Guthrie, Roxy Jacenko, Claudia Black, Claire Messud

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $45,044

Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales

Previously known as Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School prior to 1995, this single-sex school values individuality and independence of mind. SCEGGS possesses a relatively small student population of 900 (from Kindergarten to Year 12) and is often among the best-performing schools in New South Wales academically.

Notable former students – Margaret Whitlam, Pamela Stephenson, Kirstin Ferguson, Blanche d'Alpuget, Claudia Karvan

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $44,600
Location: Bellevue Hill, New South Wales

The fourth most expensive school in Australia is The Scots College in Bellevue Hill, Sydney – with a 4.7% increase in tuition fees on the previous year. Founded in 1893, this Presbyterian school for boys boasts seven campuses across New South Wales catering for approximately 1,800 students (Kindergarten to Year 12).

Notable former students – James Bain, Peter Dowding, Lee Freedman, Callan McAuliffe, Hiroaki Yura

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $44,248
Location: Burwood, Victoria
Taking its name from Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, this renowned Modern Orthodox Jewish day school ranked fourth in the state for median VCE score in 2022 (ranking second in 2020). Since 1949, Scopus has been a co-educational school providing excellence in learning and holistic development within a Zionist framework.
Notable former students – Naomi Milgrom, Josh Frydenberg, Dena Kaplan, Geoffrey Edelsten

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $42,936
Location: North Parramatta, New South Wales
Australia’s oldest independent school was founded in 1831 and caters for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12. Notably, the school uniform is the oldest military uniform still worn in Australia today and highly distinctive. With around 430 boarders from its 2,100 student population, The King’s School is one of the largest boarding schools in Australia.
Notable former students – Stirling Mortlock, Mike Baird, Andrew Upton, Josh Green

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $42,550
Location: Edgecliff, New South Wales
Ascham School for girls sees a 4% increase in tuition fees compared to 2022. The school itself follows an educational philosophy created in 1916 by Helen Pankhurst called the ‘Dalton Plan’. This approach emphasises the development of the whole child in order to produce self-sufficient and independent leaders. Ascham is operated as a not-for-profit and proudly non-denominational.
Notable former students – Gretel Packer, Lisa Messenger, Betty Who, Allegra Spender, Marta Dusseldorp

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $42,189
Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales
Sydney Grammar School or ‘SGS’ is a secular day school for boys based across three campuses in Darlinghurst, Edgecliff and St Ives. Also known simply as ‘Grammar’, the school has a total enrolment of approximately 1,833 boys from Kindergarten to Year 12. In 2022 the school was ranked sixth in the state for overall success rate according to The Sydney Morning Herald league table.

Notable former students – Malcolm Turnbull, Sam Fischer, John Newcombe, Banjo Patterson, Joseph Jacobs


Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $41,889
Location: Bellevue Hill, New South Wales
Catering for approximately 1,680 students, Cranbrook School is an Anglican day and boarding school for boys founded in 1918. The school’s values follow a respect for the individual, a love of the pursuit of excellence and a respect for the integrity of differences. In late 2022, Cranbrook School opened its new, $125 million Murray Rose Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
Notable former students – James Packer, Sam Reid, James Fairfax, Mike Cannon-Brookes

Cost per year for a Year 12 day student - $40,948
Location: Croydon, New South Wales
Rounding off our list is PLC Sydney – a Presbyterian day and boarding school for girls based in Croydon, Sydney. PLC is the oldest, continuously running Presbyterian school in New South Wales, having been established in 1888. The school encompasses Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 and offers boarding from Year 7. PLC Sydney’s values are expressed through the four core ideals of grace, reverence, wisdom and service.
Notable former students – Margaret Pomeranz, Mary Fairfax, Silma Ihran, Carolyn Simpson

What is the best private school in Australia?

Ultimately the best private school in Australia is the one that best suits your child. While some schools are known for their sporting programs, others have built their reputation by providing quality music or performing arts courses.

While academic excellence and results for graduating students remain one of the preferred methods of comparison to determine the best private school in Australia, there are many other factors a school provides that contribute to the success of your child’s education.

Finding the top private school in Australia depends on what you’re looking for in a school.

Regardless of whether it's academic performance, co-curricular life, or facilities, take the time to research the options and get in touch with the school to take a look around.

But remember, some of these private schools have long waiting lists, so the earlier you plan the better.

Which are the most prestigious schools in Australia?

When we think of the most prestigious schools in Australia we tend to think of the more expensive schools. Competition is tough to get into these schools, with family connections, past students and student performance key factors to successfully enrol your child.

Prestigious schools have the opportunity to create very unique environments simply because they can attract top students and can choose who attends. The reputation of the school can potentially provide benefits to students who attend once they leave.

What is the richest school in Australia?

Sydney Church of England Grammar (SHORE) in New South Wales is deemed to be the richest school in Australia, with assets valued at a whopping $590million. This according to a 2019 investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald which calculated the asset value of the top 50 private schools across Australia. Next on the list was Scotch College in Victoria with over $314million in assets, followed by Haileybury, also in Victoria, with more than $266 million in assets.

Although the report used the schools’ assets to measure their financial position and did not take into account their liabilities, overall the majority of schools tended to have low levels of debt compared to their asset value.

As you can see from the list, the richest schools in Australia are not necessarily the most expensive.

What do private schools deliver above other schools?

Public schools must accept all students who wish to attend from the local catchment area. Private schools on the other hand, through a sometimes extensive application, interview and selection process, can pick and choose their students.

Private schools have greater financial resources so can be perceived to offer not only better quality facilities but wide-ranging extracurricular activities as well. What they offer depends on the school but can include outdoor experiences, overseas trips and larger libraries.

However, the biggest difference between public and private schools is time. Private schools, with their greater resources, tend to have smaller class sizes and teachers can give students more one-on-one time. Time may not matter to the clever kid who zips through school life with ease. But for students who find scholastic disciplines a bit tougher, one-on-one time can make all the difference, and is a common reason for parents choosing to send their children to one of the most expensive schools in Australia.

Do private school kids get better results?

This depends on what you’re reading. There are studies, voices and advocates for both the Australian public school system and private schools.

But wouldn’t it be great as parents and grandparents for you to have the choice available to you? Knowing if you wanted to send your child to one of the most expensive schools in Australia, you could do so.

How reassuring to know that, when the time comes, you have the funds available to make the decision you want, not the decision your bank balance dictates.

Education is the greatest gift you can give to your child, so start planning for your child’s education future today.