Agricultural 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 for entry in 2020), 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

If successful for placement, a residential agreement and student medical history must be completed.

For a boarder placement, extra consideration may be given to students who have brothers or sisters currently boarding at the school and to those living in remote areas.

For Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School and Hurlstone Agricultural High School, the placement process for day students and boarders is different – a student offered a place as a boarder cannot automatically transfer to a day student and vice versa.

Boarder fees

In addition to satisfying residency requirements and other conditions for entry as a boarder, boarding fees must be paid. Ask the school about the latest boarding fees and the timing of payments before applying.

If accepting an offer you must sign a boarder agreement undertaking to pay the boarder fees on the first day of each term. If you do not pay the fees in full and on time, your child's offer may be withdrawn.

Boarding schools may require a deposit after acceptance of a boarder 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 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 about financial assistance.

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.

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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