Agricultural high schools

There are three agricultural high schools that enrol boarders.

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

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

James Ruse Agricultural High School 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 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. 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.

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.

For a boarding placement, extra consideration may be given to students who have brothers or sisters already boarding at the school.


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 If parents do not pay the fees as agreed the offer will be withdrawn and offered to the next eligible applicant.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.

Female students with a refugee background can apply for the Agnes Borsody Scholarship (.PDF 88KB) which provides financial support during Years 7 to 10.

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 – new Glenfield precinct

The school on the Glenfield site will remain fully selective under a new name yet to be announced. The new school name will come into effect in 2023.

Hurlstone Agricultural High School no longer accepts applications for boarding placement from students living in metropolitan areas. Read more about the Minister for Education's announcement (PDF 71 KB) about the future Glenfield precinct.

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