This article is for you if you are looking for the best private schools in Melbourne, Victoria. There are many different schools to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to find the right one.
We have compiled a list of different high-quality schools that would be perfect for your children's education needs.
It will take time and research on your part to make sure your kids get into the school of their dreams.
However, the more information you have about each school, the easier it will be to make an educated decision that will benefit your child long term!
To help you get started on your private school hunt, we've rounded up our favourite private schools from right across Melbourne, Victoria.
List of Most Popular and Affordable Private Schools in Melbourne
Oakleigh Grammar Private School Melbourne
Admissions Phone Number: (03) 8554 0014
Our dedicated teaching staff work collaboratively and embrace opportunities for professional development, ensuring that our educational programs remain at the forefront of contemporary education. Small class sizes and additional teaching support ensure that each child’s learning needs are met through challenge for those who are talented, and additional support for those who have areas of difficulty.
Our School ensures that every child is known personally and places the utmost importance on student welfare and safety. Oakleigh Grammar is a multicultural environment with Christian values, where diversity is celebrated and inclusion is encouraged.
Mentone Grammar Private School Melbourne
03 9584 4211
Mentone Grammar extends its warmest greetings. I hope you enjoy learning about our school and seeing the images of the happy, healthy, and high-achieving environment that we strive to provide for our community.
All members of our School Community are encouraged to develop holistically. We accomplish this through our well-known Together-Apart-Together coeducational model. From the Early Learning Centre to Year 12, we provide age and stage appropriate programs designed to engage the modern learner in a dynamic environment.
Korowa Anglican Girls’ Private School Melbourne
03 8808 8884
Our mission is to help young women become self-aware, confident, and capable individuals who recognize their responsibility and ability to positively influence the world.
We believe in the transformative power of kindness, as well as the values of courage, respect, integrity, and service. Be brave, respectful, honest, generous, and most importantly, kind. At Korowa, our Mission and Values provide the framework for providing students with a holistic education in which they are encouraged to pursue their interests, try new things, and achieve their full potential.
Private Schools FAQs
Make Sure the School Supports Your Child’s Learning Needs
Your child’s school should provide all the opportunities they need to succeed. However, children who have special learning needs or other challenges may need specialized teachers, tools, or learning options not available at every school.
If your child is academically gifted or far ahead of their peers, you may wish to send them to a school that caters to students like them. For example, some private schools offer extra-accelerated math programs or similar programs for students who seek more intellectual challenges.
Like public schools, private schools only have so many resources. Smaller schools, in particular, may not have the teaching capacity for students with special physical, linguistic, emotional, or learning needs. Therefore, depending on your child’s learning requirements, you may need to seek a specialized school or a school that serves more students.
Look for Helpful Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities may not be a priority to you as a parent, but they will have a large impact on your child’s life. For example, after-school clubs and programs will allow your child to bond with other students, build teamwork skills, and explore their interests.
Some private schools have limited opportunities to participate in sports, scouts, and music programs. Others have a wide range of activities to choose from, including STEM-related programs like robotics and engineering clubs.
After narrowing down your choices to a couple of schools that meet your needs, talk to your child about each school and tell them about the activities they could participate in. Ask your child what they are interested in. If you are undecided between schools or certain important activities to your child, extracurricular opportunities could be a decisionmaker.
Consider Class Size
In addition to all the factors above, you may want to consider school and class size. Many children learn better in small classes where the teacher has more time for each student. In small group settings, teachers are more likely to have the time to assess and resolve each student’s challenges.
Your child may also benefit from the opportunity to become part of a close-knit group of peers at a small school. When there are only a few students in each grade, your child will share classes with most of the same students each year and participate in many of the same activities as their peers.
However, small schools are not better for every student. Group dynamics can become much more important in schools with small class sizes, and it may be harder to escape social difficulties if your child does not mesh with the existing dynamics. Some students may do better at a larger school where they can find friends who appreciate them and share their interests more easily.
Choose a School That Aligns With Your Family’s Goals
There’s a reason you started looking at private schools for your child. Beyond the quality of education in core school subjects, you may be looking for a school that aligns with your family’s religious beliefs, a military school, or where boys and girls are kept separate.
If you have a particular reason beyond academics or safety for seeking a private school education, make sure that the school you choose fits those considerations.
The right school
So, with dozens of private schools to choose from, choosing the right one is probably an essential item on this list of factors for successful private school education. Which is the right school? You’ll know it when you visit it and speak with the admissions staff.
It will be the school that best meets both your requirements as a parent and the requirements of that precious cargo which you are about to entrust to the school. You can review the statistics and data about the school. You can determine that its philosophy and educational mission align with your goals and objectives.
But the real question for which you need to find the answer is how will your child fit in. If you feel comfortable about your answer to that question, you are all set. You will have chosen the right school.
The right sports
As you review private schools, you will begin to realize that each school is unique. Private schools are independent corporations, as a rule. Most are not for profit organizations. However, unless the school is owned and operated by a company that owns and operates several schools, it will manage its affairs independently and under the oversight of a board of directors.
Consequently, the facilities and programs are different at each private school. Yes, there will be similarities. For example, each school may have a hockey team, but the question you need to ask if that is important to you is at what level is the hockey being played? What is the coaching staff like? Sports are an integral part of most private school programs.
But, as with everything else in this process, assume nothing. Investigate the sports offered, the level of the programs offered and the facilities. Your child will spend from six to twelve hours a week playing sports. Make it the best experience possible so that you set healthy habits in place for her adult life.
Apply the same kind of thoughtful due diligence to all the programs which matter to you and your child. If the equestrian program or the arts program are high on your list of things that you expect, then ask questions. Understand the depth and scope of the programs each school offers.
The right extracurriculars
By now, you are beginning to understand that a private school is a complete package: academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. Your child deserves a well-rounded approach and balance in her young life. And that is what most private schools endeavour to provide to their students.
Why are extracurriculars important? After all, it seems that extracurriculars are among the first things to go by the boards in public schools when the money dries up. The truth is that extracurriculars such as forensics, drama, chess, and many more activities, stimulate young minds. They expose your child to options which she perhaps hasn’t thought about before.
Who knows! She may even have one of those ‘Eureka!’ moments when she discovers her true calling in life. In any case, the depth and breadth of a school’s extracurricular activities are part of what makes it the right school. Examine extracurriculars carefully. Know how they are managed, and they have performed historically at any school you are investigating.
Doesn’t every teacher care? Not always. Caring for their students and being answerable to their parents is simply part of how private school teachers operate. Private schools nurture caring teachers. That is because caring teachers are one of the main reasons parents decide to send their children to private school.
If teachers don’t care or have a bad attitude, their contracts will most likely not be renewed. Private school teachers are not unionized and, as a result, can be dismissed for reasons and conditions which are spelled out very clearly in their letters of agreement with the school.
Now, caring is not the same thing as hovering. You won’t find a private school teacher smothering your child. Instead, your child’s teacher will be direct and guide her so that she can blossom into the confident, articulate young adult you always knew she could be. In addition, private school teachers have another responsibility which their public school colleagues do not have.
They are responsible for coaching a sport or directing an extracurricular activity. So your child has the advantage of seeing her social studies teacher in a whole different light when she sees him coaching her field hockey team. This is one more example of how private schools practice their philosophy of educating the whole child.
Teaching the whole child
Education is for life. Yes, test scores can be important. The same is true with getting into a good college. But what a private school is intrinsically all about is getting an education for life. What do we mean? Your child will face challenges and situations in her adult life, which you and I cannot even begin to imagine. Just look at all we have faced in the past thirty or forty years or so.
The world seems to be morphing at warp speed. Nevertheless, your child will hopefully emerge from her private school experience with that wonderful combination of creativity, confidence, and accomplishment, which will allow her to face whatever comes her way with equanimity, grace, and aplomb.
The objective of this article is to point out that there are some very basic components to your evaluation of private schools on your shortlist. In my opinion, these components trump metrics such as how selective a school is.
Parents want a safe environment for their children.
Frequently, private schools offer smaller class sizes and smaller campuses than neighbouring public schools. This makes it easier for staff members to be aware of dangerous situations, student dynamics, and other health and safety concerns.
Smaller teacher-student ratios are also conducive to building and establishing connections between students and between faculty and students. Positive, healthy relationships reduce the risk and opportunity for dangerous behaviours.
Parents want a caring community that provides individual attention to their children.
Small class sizes allow teachers the opportunity to get to know students. In public schools with large classes, it’s challenging for teachers to help, learn, or advocate for every student. Despite the best intentions, students can get lost in the sheer numbers of some large school districts. Private schools can better identify and address the needs of individual students.
Parents want a school with a high-quality faculty and curriculum.
Most parents who invest in private education want their students to be prepared for college. Teacher experience and expertise can go a long way in helping students achieve in the classroom. The lesson plans, learning experiences, and instructional practices designed and implemented by teachers shape the way students learn and grow as scholars.
Course plans and design should challenge students to grow, and teachers should execute and design authentic learning opportunities. Standardized test scores may measure academic rigour, the number of advanced courses a school offers, or the amount of homework assigned each week.
Some schools provide dual-enrollment courses with local colleges; others focus on AP or IB classes. A challenging academic program can help students grow as learners and develop their intellectual curiosity, academic passions, and work habits.
Parents want to support the school’s mission and educational philosophy.
Parents want to find a school that fits their educational goals and aspirations for their children. A school-aligned with parent values and desired outcomes can become a valuable partner in accomplishing these goals.
When students feel comfortable in a school, and the parent-school relationship is aligned, students will achieve more. Schools will often create or display a “portrait of a graduate” to illustrate the important traits and abilities of the school. Parents can look at this list to see if priority values align.
Most private school admissions deadlines come early in the calendar year, usually January or February. However, the application process begins much earlier in the school year! So, in addition to researching the right schools for your child, you’re going to need at least six months, and ideally, a full year, to ensure they have everything needed to apply.
Your exact timeline will depend on whether your child is applying to elementary school, middle school, or high school, as well as your child’s individual needs and goals. But in general, try to start requesting information from schools sometime in the spring or summer.
Understand Your Child’s Interests
As you research and prepare, it’s important to frequently check in with your child and make sure they are engaged in the process. For example, do these schools have the extracurricular activities your child wants, like sports or theatre? Are the academics at the right level? If the school offers boarding and day school options, which does your child prefer?
Checking in with your child ensures that you’ll find a good fit, but it’s also essential to the admissions process. In writing and person, your child will need to articulate why they are excited about each private school, so it’s imperative to include them in the process.
Seek Out Additional Academic Enrichment
Whatever grade level you’re applying for, schools are going to care about your child’s past academic performance. If you’re using it at the secondary school level, it’ll be even more important that your child be able to articulate their favourite subjects (and why). And, of course, admissions officers will evaluate their performance in school.
For those reasons, it’s important not only that students do well in school but that they pursue some form of academic enrichment outside the classroom, too. Whether through the math team, debate club, or language lessons, developing an academic passion is crucial to admission at highly selective private schools.
Evaluate Your Child’s Extracurricular Profile
Similarly, just as private school admissions committees consider your child’s academics, they will also care deeply about what your child does outside of class. That means sports, arts, and community service. While they care about a student’s academic performance, they care most of all about what your child will bring to their school community.
Extracurricular activities show private schools what your child is passionate about and help them see where they will fit into the student body. Activities in which they interact with others cooperate on a team and helps others all show maturity and empathy.
Prepare for Standardized Testing
Just like colleges, most private schools use some form of standardized test scores to evaluate their applicants. The most common tests are the ISEE (for elementary school) and the SSAT (for secondary school). These standardized tests are another reason to start early, as doing so will allow your child time to prepare through self-study or tutoring.
Other private and independent schools use a school-specific entrance exam or admissions test. This is common at charter and Catholic schools, among others. A few secondary schools rely exclusively on the results of this entrance exam, but most schools consider test scores as part of a holistic review of your child’s application.
Get Letters of Recommendation
Another feature of the private school application process that you’ll want to consider early on is the letters of support you’ll need for the application. Most private schools ask for two recommendations, often from math and English teachers. These letters will be stronger and more positive if you give your child’s teachers plenty of notice!
Additionally, you may be able to submit additional letters of support. For example, if your child intends to play a sport at the new school, consider getting a letter from a coach. Similarly, a letter from an art or music instructor can speak to your child’s passions. Additionally, if you have a connection to a school, such as knowing a board member, that kind of support can be effective, too.
Prepare Your Child for the Personal Interview
No matter what grade level your child is applying for, it’s almost certain there will be a personal interview stage of the private school admissions process. Depending on your child’s age, this may be one-on-one, observation of social interaction, attendance in a class, or some combination of all three, so the admissions committee can get to know them.
There’s a lot you can do to prepare your child for the interview, including practising answering (and asking!) questions, working on body language, and preparing a few strategies. It’s also a good idea not to schedule the first interview with your first-choice school; give your child at least one or two official interviews to work out some of their nerves first.
Attend Schools’ Open Houses and Tours
Attending school tours and open houses are critical pieces to the application process, so be sure you know when these are and clear your schedule to attend. Most open houses take place in October and November, and while some schools have a few options, they are not limitless. Thus, it’s important to create a visiting schedule before the fall arrives.
On your visit, you’ll likely meet members of the admissions office and hear from the admissions director. Encourage your child to ask questions on tour, and make sure your questions are answered, too. If you have questions about financial aid, academic advising, or other unique aspects of the school, make sure you get those questions answered!
Help Your Child Write Strong Essays
While the interview is certainly an important part of your child’s application, admissions committees will also rely heavily on their written responses to essay questions to see how they will fit into the school community. These questions ask students to reflect on their favourite subjects, ways they’ve matured or grown, and what activities mean the most to them.
Students must write as many of these essays themselves as possible; admissions officers can tell if a child or an adult wrote a report. At the same time, make sure you talk to your child about how to approach the essays and help proofread their responses.
Remember That You’re Applying, Too
It sometimes comes as news to parents applying to private schools that this is really about your whole family, not just your child. You’re almost certainly going to have to write essays yourself and attend an interview, just like your child. These schools want to know that you’re going to be a friendly and supportive part of their community, too.
You probably don’t need to become a better applicant by seeking out new activities, but you must take the parent parts of the application seriously. Consider having a friend or advisor look over your essays and do a mock interview. Private schools look for certain qualities in parents the same way they do in student applicants.
Don’t Miss the Deadlines.
Keep in mind that there are many deadlines involved in the private school admission process, not just the final one in January or February! Most schools have only a few open houses and set deadlines for scheduling tours and interviews, while the ISEE and SSAT only offer a limited number of test dates each year.
As you embark on this project, it’s important to have a clear grasp of the timeline to ensure that everything gets done and you don’t miss any crucial steps. A good independent school admissions counsellor should help you do that.
Choice and Flexibility
An advantage to private schools is that they are often better equipped to offer families quality on-campus and remote learning experiences and even the choice and flexibility to move between the two as COVID impacts their community.
In addition, private schools tend to have low student-to-teacher ratios and more campus and classroom spaces to break students and teachers into small pods or cohorts as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They also have the resources to invest in the technology and professional development teachers need to effectively teach on-campus and remote students.
School Choice That Aligns With Your Family’s Values
There are many different private schools – day school or boarding school, religious or non-denominational, co-ed or single-sex – and, unlike other school choices, private schools are mission-driven with their unique philosophy. As a result, each family can choose the private school whose mission resonates and aligns with their family’s values.
Instils a Love of Learning in Students
Private schools typically can teach how students learn best and deliver challenging academics in innovative ways. This “freedom within a framework” engages students, taps into their natural curiosity and stokes their desire to learn, creating lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.
Students and Teachers Develop Close Relationships
Lower student-to-teacher ratios allow private school teachers to develop close relationships with a stable group of students, which is key to their intellectual and emotional growth and learning. In addition, a close teacher-student relationship helps students feel known, understood, believed in and challenged to be their best.
Offer Differentiated Learning to Effectively Challenge, Each Student
Private school teachers can tailor their lessons to their students’ unique skills, interests, passions, and curiosities with lower student-to-teacher ratios. Private school teachers can also respond and meet every child where they’re academically and push students forward with the right balance of challenge and nurture. As a result, students feel confident and assured in their academic abilities throughout their learning journey.
Focus on the Whole Child
Character education teaches and celebrates character traits like respect, empathy, self-control and cooperation that are integral to both academic achievement and success in life. Private schools recognize the importance of character education and often build it into their curriculum intentionally rather than treating it as an add on.
This creates an environment where students feel secure knowing their classmate’s value compassion and respect; perform better academically because they can practice self-control; and become the best versions of themselves because they feel more confident.
Prepares Students for Their Future
Private schools prepare students for the future with academically rigorous curricula that incorporate tough-to-teach skills like critical thinking, collaboration and proactiveness. Private schools that combine a challenging curriculum with powerful and innovative experiences graduate students with 21st-century skills and purpose-driven leaders prepared to shape the world for good.
Kilvington Grammar School Melbourne
03 9578 6231
Your child will be challenged, stretched, and supported to achieve the learning outcomes that they are capable of.
We offer single gender classes in English, Science, PE, and Health from Y7 to Y9, so your child can benefit from a variety of learning experiences at a critical developmental stage in their lives. Your child will be given every opportunity to achieve their personal best thanks to our outstanding and passionate teaching staff and our renowned wellbeing program.
Firbank Grammar Private School Melbourne
03 9591 5183
Firbank has been an integral part of the Bayside community for over 110 years. We are proud of our strong traditions and heritage, but we have not let that stop us from moving forward. Firbank takes great pride in having some of Australia's most cutting-edge facilities and programs, including our digital learning practices. Even as other schools around the world continue to adjust to more flexible methods of delivering education, we have been far ahead in the digital learning space.
Haileybury Private School Melbourne
03 9904 6009
Haileybury is one of the Asia-Pacific region's leading independent schools, with campuses in Keysborough, Brighton, Berwick, Melbourne (City), Darwin, and Beijing. The School is known for its outstanding academic achievements, small class sizes, diverse co-curricular activities, and cutting-edge facilities. Learning is based on students' different learning styles, as well as their gender, age, interests, and potential.
Camberwell Grammar School Melbourne
03 9835 1774
At Camberwell Grammar School, we work hard to give every boy in our care the best education we can in order to get them ready for life after school. Our school's motto, Spectemur Agendo (By Our Deeds May We Be Known), encourages our students to act with integrity and to be people of their word. A.B. Taylor founded our school in 1886 for "the boys in the local community."
Learning takes many forms and shapes here. Students have the opportunity to fully participate on the athletic field, the stage, and the debating platform.
Presbyterian Ladies' College Private School Melbourne
03 9808 5810
Choosing a school for a child is an important decision for any parent, and it is dependent on the individual student's needs. Some children are predisposed to a particular type of learning environment, whereas for others, this may not be immediately apparent.
While we recognize the importance of different types of schools for different types of students, we believe that single-sex education is the best option for girls.
03 8102 6509
To be a part of our multicultural community, students from all over the world come to Melbourne. Over 100 international students are admitted to Wesley College each year, representing over ten different Asian and European nations. Look into the admissions and enrollment procedures for foreign students.
Strathcona Girls Grammar Private School Melbourne
03 8779 7509
Strathcona is the driving force behind a life-changing momentum, ensuring that each girl discovers a path as unique and full of potential as she is. Strathcona girls break the stereotypes of private education on their respective journeys, and we are proud of them. The School motto, 'Bravely, Faithfully, Happily,' expresses the importance of action, meaning, and fulfillment.
Girls thrive in an academically rigorous environment with a wide range of co-curricular activities. At Strathcona, being strong, resilient, and empowered are more than just words. We motivate them based on each girl's uniqueness and personal goals.
Strathcona truly distinguishes itself in this regard. A Strathcona girl understands her mind, body, and spirit. Her strong sense of self is founded on respect, integrity, compassion, courage, and genuine community spirit. Being prepared for life is about bettering oneself rather than bettering others.