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Agricultural high schools

There are four agricultural high schools.

  • Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Tamworth – boarders and day students, boys only
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School, Glenfield – boarders and day students (boarders must be living in rural areas), co-educational
  • Yanco Agricultural High School, Yanco – boarders only, co-educational
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School – day students only, co-educational.

Boarders are required to board (live) at the school.

James Ruse Agricultural High School in Carlingford is co-educational and has day students only.

Agriculture is a compulsory subject from Years 7 to 10 in Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Yanco Agricultural High School and James Ruse Agricultural High School.

Boarding schools

The placement process for day students and boarders is different – a student offered a place as a boarder cannot automatically transfer to a day place. Selection committees prioritise students living in isolated areas over those from other country areas or cities. For a boarder placement, extra consideration may be given to students who have brothers or sisters already boarding at the school. Hurlstone Agricultural High School accepts students from rural areas only for boarder places.

The academic merit of students placed in boarder agricultural high schools must be reasonably comparable with that of other boarder and day students.

Applicants must choose the boarding section of the school when applying. If successful, the school's student residential agreement and student medical history must be completed.


Parents accepting a boarder place for their child will need to sign the school's student residential agreement that includes agreement to pay boarder fees on time. Contact the school to find out the current fees.

Boarding schools may require a deposit after acceptance of a boarding placement. The deposit is deducted from the boarding fees paid on enrolment. If a student withdraws after accepting the offer of a place, the school keeps the deposit.

Financial assistance

The rural and distance education team administers two financial support programs for eligible families whose children must board away from home to obtain secondary education. Closing dates apply. See rural and remote education for further information.

Boarding Scholarships for Isolated Students

Boarding Scholarships for Isolated Students (BSIS) are available for eligible families whose children are required to board to attend a specialist high school, such as an agricultural high school. Applications are made through the rural and distance education team – applicants must meet strict isolation and economic circumstances criteria.

Living Away From Home Allowance

The NSW Government offers assistance in the form of the Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) to geographically isolated families whose children need to board to attend secondary school. The allowance is administered by the rural and distance education team and is subject to a means test.

Australian Government assistance

The Australian Government also offers financial support through ABSTUDY, the Youth Allowance and Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (AIC),

The Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (AIC) is an Australian Government program that targets students who cannot attend a public school because the family home is geographically isolated or the students have a disability or special health needs.

For more information

Rural and Distance Education Team
PO Box 717
Bathurst 2795
02 6334 8070

Changes to Hurlstone Agricultural High School

The following information relates to recent announcements by the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon Sarah Mitchell, MLC, regarding the future of Hurlstone Agricultural High and the creation of the Richmond Agricultural College at Richmond High School.

Hurlstone Agricultural High to remain at Glenfield

Minister for Education, the Hon Sarah Mitchell, MLC, recently announced that Hurlstone Agricultural High School will retain its name and remain at its current location at Glenfield. As part of this announcement, the Minister also confirmed that additional upgrades would be carried out to Hurlstone Agricultural High’s student boarding facilities, and its dairy facilities would be retained.

New Agricultural College at Richmond High School

Minister Mitchell also announced the establishment of Richmond Agricultural College which includes a new Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Education in the Hawkesbury and the creation of a new agricultural specialty stream and a new academically selective stream at Richmond High School.

Students will be able to apply in 2020 for selection to an agricultural education specialty stream at Richmond High School starting in Year 7 at 2021. Entry will be based on a portfolio and interview which determines their interest and potential in agriculture. Students will also be able to apply in October 2020 for Year 7 entry to the selective newly established selective class beginning in 2022.

What if I want to change my school preferences?

If you are among those who have applied for your child to attend a selective high school from 2021, and the new announcement regarding Hurlstone impacts on the choices you made you have until 26 April 2020 to advise the Team of your change in preferences.

NB: You will not be able to add the new Richmond Agricultural College to your selective high school preferences as the selective class will be established for entry from 2022.

Community update

View a community update (PDF 94.73KB) from NSW Department of Education - School Infrastructure about planned facilities in Richmond.

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