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 only has day students.

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.

As part of the planned relocation of Hurlstone Agricultural High School to Hawkesbury, the school at Glenfield is altering its agriculture study requirements. Agriculture is taught as part of the Technology and Applied Sciences program in Year 7 and 8. Agriculture remains compulsory for Years 9 and 10 for 2019 and for Year 10 in 2020. From 2021 Agriculture will be offered as an elective choice for Years 9 and 10.

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. The selection criteria for boarders include isolation factors. Selection committees give a higher weighting to applications from isolated students than to those from other country and city students. For a boarding 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.

Although isolation factors are important, 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, a residential agreement and student medical history must be completed.


Parents accepting a boarder place for their child will need to sign an agreement to pay boarder fees on time. If parents do not pay the fees as agreed the offer will be withdrawn and offered to the next eligible applicant. Parents who have outstanding fees for older brothers or sisters may be refused enrolment until outstanding fees are paid.

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

Hurlstone Agricultural High School will be relocating from its current location at Glenfield to a new location on the Western Sydney University Hawkesbury Campus in Richmond. The new school will continue to offer selective places, compulsory agricultural studies from Years 7 to 10 and boarding places.

The name of the existing school at Glenfield will change to Roy Watts High School in 2023. It will remain selective and its facilities have recently been upgraded. Boarders at the school at Glenfield will transition to the Hawkesbury campus in stages over a two-year period.

More information about the timing of the relocation of Hurlstone Agricultural High School will be published here as it becomes available.

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