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, 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.

From 2023, students can also study agriculture in the new selective class at Richmond High School in conjunction with the Richmond Agricultural College.

Boarding schools

If successful for placement, a Residential student 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 Residential student agreement undertaking to pay the boarder fees on time.

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.

Information about Hurlstone Agricultural High School

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 School'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 October 2020 for Year 7 entry to the newly established selective class beginning in 2022. Years 8 to 12 entry will be available in later years.

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