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A snapshot: schools in Melbourne considered (but not necessarily chosen) by English-speaking expats.

Schools with a full GSGI review are noted with  next to their names.   (pending) means that the school is on our list to review. In the case of Melbourne, we are waiting to appoint a new editor.

By full GSGI review, we mean school write-ups that are completely selected, researched, visited and written by our own editors. Our final reviews take the good with the bad, warts and all, but we look for a preponderance of good before we drill down for in-depth details and descend on the school for an exhaustive visit. We are aware of the other schools on this page and we continually add or remove schools, as deemed appropriate.


List of schools

Ballarat Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE/ IB Diploma; ages 6 mths-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,600 students

Opened in 1911 as a Church of England grammar school for boys and amalgamated with Queen’s school for girls in 1973. A traditional school with a strong house system and a separate farming campus at Mount Rowan, allowing them to offer a VCE Agriculture-Horticulture option. Very successful rowing programme (particularly women’s), which has produced international and Olympic stars.

Brighton Grammar

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 950 students

One of a large number of surviving Melbourne schools founded in the 19th century (1882). A single-sex Anglican school but has close ties and shares co-ed activities with the students of Firbank Girls’ Grammar School. Distinguished alumni, noticeably in the legal field.

Camberwell Girls Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 755 student

Opened in 1920 as a parish school, led by the current vicar and merged with Ormiston Girls’ School, the oldest girls’ school on the Australian mainland, in 1964. A traditional school with a strong house system, similar to that of British schools.

Camberwell Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 5-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,325 students

A junior, middle and senior school located on what is known as ‘Camberwell’s Golden Mile’ due to the shady tree-lined avenues (turning gold in autumn) and the equally glittering cost of buying a house. A long-established (1888), popular, voluntary cadet force, which is part of the Australian Army Cadets.

Carey Baptist Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,400 students

Offering the options of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the Victorian Certificate of Education, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and University Acceleration programmes. A member of PESA (Positive Education Schools Australia), a network of leading schools and educators, spread across Australia.

Catholic Ladies College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 12-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 925 students

Founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1902 and located on its present site in Eltham since 1971. A strongly religious Catholic day school under the stewardship of the Mary Aikenhead Ministries.

Fintona

Victoria curriculum/ PYP/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 450 students

A late 19th century (1896) arrival on the Melbourne education scene and rare in offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. A girls’ school with a co-ed early learning programme.

Firbank Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls (co-ed junior campus); day; independent; private non-profit; 1,115 students

Established by the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne in 1909.The school has three campuses, a co-ed junior school (guaranteed entry for boys into Brighton Grammar and girls into Firbank Grammar), plus a girls junior and senior school. Also known for producing national and international swimmers.

Geelong College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,400 students (100 boarders)

A non-selective school established 150 years ago by a Presbyterian minister, based on Scottish Academy lines, but now affiliated with the Uniting Church. Originally a boys only school but co-educational since 1974 and operating on two campuses. Well known for its sporting alumni, including Olympic rowers and for having educated a Nobel Prize winning biologist.

Geelong Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ PYP/ VCE/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,420 students (850 boarders)

Famous private Australian boarding and day school covering four campuses. Known for calibre of the teaching and the huge range of academic subjects and sporting activities. Campuses are in attractive settings including Prince Charles’ outdoor learning, alma mater Timbertop. Other famous alumni include Rupert Murdoch, Peter Carey, Kerry Packer, and Dame Elizabeth Murdoch. 

Genazzano FCJ College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,100 students

A Catholic school founded in 1889 by the Faithful Companions of Jesus, almost entirely for day girls but takes a small number of boarders from years 8-12, which include international students. There is also a co-educational Early Learning Centre.

Girton Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,060 students

Originally, called Girton College, owned and run by the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo, two hours outside Melbourne. Forced to close for financial reasons, the current school was established by the ‘Friends of Girton’ and has grown from 300 to 1,200 students and produced two Rhodes Scholars.

Hamilton and Alexandra College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 425 students

Starting life as Hamilton and Western District Boys’ College, 150 years ago, it became a co-ed school in the 1960’s, when it joined up with the equally old and prestigious girls’ school, Alexandra College. Based on two campuses with boarding houses for girls and boys.

Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 820 students

A non-selective school in an eastern suburb of Melbourne, which numbers Cate Blanchett amongst its ex-pupils. Like a large number of independent schools in Victoria, it features a strong house system.

Ivanhoe Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,200 students

On four campuses across Melbourne. The school has recently developed a new concept (in partnership with La Trobe University) of a campus, dedicated to year 9, which provides an introduction to university-style learning at an early stage.

Korowa Anglican Girls' School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls (co-ed ELC); day; independent; private non-profit; 710 students

Founded in 1890 in Malvern, a suburb of Melbourne, moving to Glen Iris in 1914. Non-selective but academic, consistently one of the top ranked schools in Melbourne, based on its median VCE scores. A co-educational early learning centre is followed by a junior, middle and senior school for girls only.

Loreto Mandeville Hall

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 960 students

Founded in 1924 as one of seven Catholic Loreto schools in Australia and based on a single campus in Toorak, an inner suburb of Melbourne. Rigorously academic, being named the top ranked Catholic girls’ school, twice, in recent years but also successful at sport, in particular, athletics and water polo.

Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 5-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 820 students

Located in Newtown, a suburb of Melbourne, the school (an amalgamation of two smaller schools) reached its centenary in 2020. Based around a listed main house, the newest addition, to the campus. is a building for the early years, designed to reflect the Reggio Emilia approach. They also offer students the choice of the Vocational Education and Training programme.

Melbourne Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 6-18; co-ed (to year 6) boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,800 students

Considered the oldest grammar school in the Melbourne area, originally founded in 1849. The co-ed prep school is located in Caulfield and the middle and senior boys’ campuses are in South Yarra. Highly prestigious and has educated no less than three Australian prime ministers.

Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School

Adapted curriculum/ VCE; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 450 students

The school is 50 years old and more informal than the majority of schools in Melbourne. Stating that it is separate from other Steiner schools but still offering an education that includes subjects that are unique to the Steiner philosophy.

Methodist Ladies College (MLC)

Victoria curriculum/ VCE/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 2,030 students

Known as MLC and another Melbourne school to have been opened in the late 19th century (1882). Truly stunning academic results with no less than seven students achieving perfect (45) International Baccalaureate scores in 2020, plus a further six only missing it by one point.

Monivae College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 12-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 600 students

One of a small number of senior only independent schools in Victoria and a relatively late-comer (1954) to the education scene here. A strongly Catholic (Missionaries of the Sacred Heart) school located in Hamilton, 180 miles south-west of Melbourne.

Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,720 students

Known, rather delightfully, as PEGS. The name is suitably Victorian sounding for a school founded in the 19th century but, in contrast, their largest campus (Keilor East) is located in a very contemporary, award-winning, 21st century building.

Ruyton Girls School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 885 girls

Located in the suburb of Kew and one of the few non-denominational, independent schools in Melbourne. Linking with Trinity Grammar School in years 11 and 12 provides co-educational classes at this level.

Scotch College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 4-18; boys; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 1,880 students

The oldest (1851) surviving secondary school in Victoria, based on its large river-side site in Hawthorn, on the edge of Melbourne, since 1926. Also famous for its Cadet Corps and its Pipes and Drums Band, who wear the Gordon tartan and for producing three Governor-Generals of Australia and one Prime Minister.

Shelford Girls’ Grammar

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day; independent; private non-profit; 510 students

The school operates a co-ed Reggio Emilia Early Learning Centre and also offers the VET (Vocational Education and Training) course. Successful academic results and has come 1st in the independent girls’ schools in Victoria rankings, based on VCE results.

St Catherine’s School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 3-18; girls; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 655 students

Founded just before the turn of the 20th century, as Castlemaine Ladies’ College in 1896. The boarders still live in a National Trust listed Victorian house and the school numbers Rupert Murdoch’s mother Elisabeth, amongst its illustrious alumnae.

St Kevin’s College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 5-18; boys; day; independent; private non-profit; 2,080 students

One of the largest independent boys’ schools in Melbourne, founded by the Christian Brothers at the end of the First World War and located on four campuses. There is also a sports complex and the school has produced an impressively long list of sporting stars, mainly on the football and rugby field.

St Leonard’s College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE/ PYP/ IB Diploma; ages 3-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,550 students

Rare for a Melbourne school, in offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme as well as being the first in Victoria to offer the IB Diploma as an alternative to the VCE. Now over 100 years old and located in Brighton East with a brand-new, purpose-built year 12 centre.

St Mary’s College

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 11-18; co-ed; boarding; independent; private non-profit; 540 students

A strongly Catholic school, formed by the recent amalgamation of the Christian Brothers’ School, CBC St Kilda with its sister school Presentation College. Part of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), which governs over 50 schools in Australia.

St Michael’s Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 4-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,135 students

The only co-educational school in the ‘Emily’ group of six Anglican schools, across Australia, named after Mother Emily Ayckbowm. She founded a new religious order in the late 19th century which opened schools in England, New Zealand and Canada as well as Australia.

Tintern Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE/ IB Diploma; ages 5-18; co-ed; day and boarding; independent; private non-profit; 780 students

Located on a large semi-rural campus, which includes a farm, and offering VET (Vocational Education Training) as well as the VCE. Still listed as offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma and scoring an average in the mid-high thirties against a global figure of 30.

Westbourne Grammar School

Victoria curriculum/ VCE; ages 5-18; co-ed; day; independent; private non-profit; 1,480 students

One of the oldest schools in Victoria, established in 1867. On two campuses, one all-through school in Truganina and one teaching up to year 3 in Williamstown. A strong house system and a large range of sports, with boys and girls noticeably successful in both tennis and table tennis. The school is part of the Melbourne Schools Partnership International (MSPI) and has been running an international student centre for over 30 years.

For more information on the schools above, please go to each school’s individual entry on The Good Schools Guide International search.

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