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Top 10 Best Schools in Toowoomba (Primary to College, Public & Private)

So you’re shifted (or planning to make a shift) to a new location. Which schools are there on offer?

It’s not just about academic excellence but also the overall development of the child.

The good news is, if you are moving to Toowoomba, there are some excellent options available in the region. To help you out, we have prepared this list of the top 10 best high schools in Toowoomba, that tick all the right boxes. 

Our picks include government, catholic, and private sector schools. Note, that this list is not a ranking of the schools. The selections were based on academic performance and parent reviews.

1. Best Co-Ed: Concordia Lutheran College

This is a co-ed school of the Lutheran Church of Australia. It has all four stages- kindergarten, junior college, middle college, and senior college. There are three campuses and a boarding school with a Learning in Residence program.

Most parents appreciate the school’s welcoming environment and the teaching quality. The learning environment is supportive and there is a lot of focus on vocational education, arts, and outdoor activities. Sports and educational excursions are a regular part of the curriculum too.

2. Boys-Only: Toowoomba Grammar School

Best Schools in Toowoomba - Toowoomba Grammar School
Toowoomba Grammar School in 1994, Heritage branch staff, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Set up in 1875, the Toowoomba Grammar School is one of the oldest schools in Australia. This is a boys-only school and combines teaching excellence with top-notch facilities. It accommodates students from junior school to senior school and there are boarding facilities as well. 

The academic scores are high – the median ATAR is 88.25. TGS also offers vocational training plans for the students. There are service opportunities and community engagement programs too. One standout feature is special programs to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. This helps to promote diversity and inclusivity among students.

3. Girls-Only: The Glennie School

This all-girls school supports students from kindergarten to the senior years. The school follows the highest standards in terms of education and extra-curricular programs to make the students reach their best potential. The facilities are top-notch and The Glennie also offers flexible boarding options for years 5 to 12.

The academic environment of the school is excellent – just look at the high scores in all fields that class of 2023 achieved! The ATAR results were superb with 51% scoring above 85. 

In addition to the Australian Curriculum content, the school offers a French Immersion Program. Which is, of course, a great way to help students achieve proficiency in the French language.

4. Great for Sports: Fairholme College

Fairholme College Entrance
Fairholme College Entrance, Shiftchange, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded as the Spreydon Girls’ College in 1908, the Fairholme College is a Christian school. It provides education in an inspirational environment that helps students to outline a career plan. While their kindergarten is co-educational, the junior to senior sections are for girls only.  

Many parents and former students admire the helpful staff and the service of the teachers. Around 48% of the ATAR-eligible students in 2023 scored in the 90s. Besides, the Fairholme College has an excellent sports department with a rich legacy of a few Olympians who started their sports career here.

5. Most Diverse: Harristown State High School

This is the largest secondary school in Toowoomba, with almost 1,800 students. The school has great facilities and offers an excellent range of extra-curricular activities. With the students coming from 45 different countries, it is also one of the best public high schools in Toowoomba in terms of cultural diversity.

The school has a co-educational setup with classes for the junior and senior high schools. It has three distinct campuses and offers special academic programs for eligible students.

6. Superb Vocational Training: Highfields State Secondary College

The Highfields State Secondary School has been around for not even a full decade! Still, that doesn’t mean it lacks in anything. The campus offers great facilities for students between years 7 and 12. Beyond the standard curriculum, the students can opt for various vocational training courses. Recognised under the Australian Qualifications Framework, these courses help develop employment-specific skills.

Most parents think highly of the wide range of extracurricular activities provided here. Students can enrol in art, dance, drama or photography clubs. Plus, there are special musical activities as well.

7. Best for Leadership: Darling Heights State School

This institution has a co-educational environment with classes for students between primary school to junior high school. To improve learning, the teachers are encouraged to use research-based teaching practices. The school follows the Instructional Leadership Model. That means the principal takes an active role in teaching instead of just overseeing the work of others.

The school also boasts constant updating of approach towards imparting education based on the community’s needs. 

Since a major section of the students come from a culturally diverse background, they are supported at all stages by the staff members. Beyond that, it also has a Special Ed Program for students with disabilities.

But if the latter’s what you’re looking for, scroll down to our next entry.

8. Best for Students With Disabilities: Toowoomba West Special School

This is the best school in Toowoomba for children with disabilities. It supports students between Prep and Year 6 and prepares them for the next stage of their educational journey. In many ways, the physical layout of the school encourages children to perform independently. 

The school aims to teach important life skills to the students and works in partnership with the parents and other support agencies. The teachers have high standards and in-depth knowledge in the areas of disability. Each class has a trained aide to support any specific needs of the students.

9. Strong in Languages: St Joseph’s College

This is a co-educational catholic college established in 1956. The school serves students between the years 7 to 12. Beyond the standard curriculum, the students get to pick subjects based on their passions and interests. These include visual arts, drama, music, and design technologies. Students can learn foreign languages like French and Japanese as well – a huge and not very common plus! Although, when you look at the fee structure, nothing short of excellence should be an option.

The senior year students are specially guided to choose the right career pathways. They can choose from 40 QCE subjects as a part of the ATAR curriculum and there are multiple options for Vocational Education Training. In addition, the students can join various sports programs and community service groups.

10. Sense of Community: Toowoomba Anglican School

A K-12 co-educational institute, this is one of the best high schools in Toowoomba in terms of boarding facilities. It won the Australian Education Awards for the ‘Boarding School of the Year’ twice. Established in 1911, it is one of the oldest schools in the region and the school campus has a village-like feel with great views.

Being an Anglican school, the focus is on making the students understand the Anglican faith and life. The wide variety of sporting and cultural practices for the students is a big plus. We noted that the parents and former students appreciate the wonderful sense of community between the students and the teachers.

FAQs: Best Schools in Toowoomba

What is the largest high school in Toowoomba?

There’s actually more than one! Numbers vary, so we have to pick at least two based on the last few years. The Centenary Heights State High School and the Harristown State High School are currently the largest with around 1,700 to 1,800 students each.

What is the most expensive school in Toowoomba?

Our research has shown that the most expensive school in Toowoomba by a long shot is St Joseph’s College, with day student annual fee for all years being nearly $43,000 in 2024. Next in line is the Toowoomba Grammar School. In 2024, the annual tuition fees there fall anywhere between $10,745 and $19,825 for domestic students.

How many schools are in Toowoomba?

One reason that makes Toowoomba a good place to live is that there are a whopping 86 primary and secondary schools in the region. That’s much more than one would expect for a town that size! Of these, 8 are boarding schools.

Which state has the best education in Australia?

It’s difficult to tell with certainty, but Victoria and New South Wales are usually regarded as the best states for university education in Australia.

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