Hi, wjj !
A site specifically designed to help parents to select the most
appropriate Victorian secondary school for their children is VCE
School Select at:
"While the information supplied should not be your sole source when
investigating your secondary school options, it does give a good
starting point. The information revolves around the VCE Schools Select
spreadsheet that holds most of the statistical data you will need when
looking at schools. This data is all readily available from other
public sources but this site puts in a format that allows you to
focus on the statistics important to you."
The spreadsheet can be downloaded for viewing in Excel, or loaded -
slowly - for viewing online. The Contents menu on the left gives
information on interpreting the data. Much of the information relates
to 2000, so you would need to check that there have been no radical
changes, but generally as long as a school has not - say - become a
specialist science school with a new principal in the meantime, the
findings are likely to still be valid.
Their suggestion is that you use the information to work out a
shortlist of possible schools, and then contact the schools and ask
questions is a very good one, since you will want to be sure that the
schools chosen reflect your own values and philosophies as well as
offering a good education.
In May 2002 the Centre for Population and Urban Research of Monash
University published a report by Bob Birrell, Virginia Rapson, Ian R.
Dobson, Daniel Edwards and T. Fred Smith. Called "From Place to Place
- school, location and access to university education in Victoria" it
compared schools across the state based on their academic
performances. you can read about it at:
The report can be purchased from The Centre for Population and Urban
Research Attn: Sue Drummond PO Box 11a Monash University Vic
Phone: (03) 9905 2965 Fax: (03) 9905 2993
Cost: $30 (includes GST and postage)
Downloadable order form available from
In part the summary reads:
"..... From Place to Place investigates the VCE outcomes for Victorian
Year 12 students by school sector and location and the consequences
for university selection. The analysis is based on previously
unpublished records for school leavers applying through the Victorian
Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) for a university or TAFE place in
2001. The key finding is that students in Victorian Government schools
are performing poorly at Year 12 level relative to their counterparts
in the Catholic and other Independent schools. ...... There were also
sharp differences in the achievement of Year 12 students within the
Government schools. The Government schools with the highest ENTER
performance were concentrated in inner city and some Eastern suburban
locations. By contrast, the Year 12 performance of students enrolled
in Government schools elsewhere in Melbourne and parts of regional
Victoria was relatively poor. For this study, schools in Melbourne
were categorised into high, middle and low socio-economic status (SES)
areas according to the characteristics of their location. .....
.... High-SES metropolitan areas were also the locations of almost all
the high performance Catholic and Independent metropolitan schools.
....there is a serious and growing divide in Year 12 performance
levels between the schools located in inner Melbourne out to the
middle-eastern suburbs and the schools located in the rest of city.
Families who live in high-SES areas of Melbourne have a double
advantage when it comes to educational opportunity. If they do wish to
send their children to a private school in their vicinity they can do
so. They also have the option of enrolling their children in a
relatively high performance Government school. "
Caroline Milburn of The Age newspaper wrote an article on this report
on May 27 2002 which can be found at:
"Previously unpublished Education Department data for the 2000 school
year show that schools with low VCE performance - defined as those
with median ENTERs (equivalent national tertiary entrance rank) below
65 - are not confined to poor areas.
Almost all government secondary colleges in Melbourne's middle income
suburbs and in the city's outer urban areas recorded low VCE
Exceptions in these areas were Frankston High School, Macleod
Secondary College and Bentleigh Secondary College, whose students
achieved scores high enough to push their schools' median ENTERs above
Later she points out::
"Only three pockets of Melbourne had clusters of government schools
with median ENTERs above 70. They were inner Melbourne, which includes
the selective government schools Macrobertson Girls' High School and
Melbourne High School, Boroondara, which takes in Camberwell and
Hawthorn and eastern middle Melbourne, covering areas such as
Doncaster and Glen Waverley."
The Age also has a page of public responses to their article on the
Predictably, responses are mixed.
Any attempt to rank schools by academic results necessarily attracts a
degree of criticism. Parents Victoria have a response to the "From
Place to Place report by Michael White, Director,
Office of School Education at:
Among other things, he says:
"..... The study has shown a relationship between the ranking of a
student's VCE score and the location and sector of the school. It
recognises the effect of home background factors on this ranking but
then ignores these factors by portraying schools as the single cause
of difference between ENTER rankings.
The report has compared the performance of a comprehensive education
system that guarantees open access to all students with one that is
academically and socio-economically selective, using as the measure of
comparison the ENTER rank which it acknowledges is highly correlated
with the socio-economic status of the family. This circular argument
offers little of value in the assessment of school performance.
The report has highlighted what research has been telling us for a
long time, that the three major dimensions of socio-economic
background-parental occupation, parental education and wealth are all
correlated with tertiary entrance. Selective schools located in higher
socio-economic areas may well achieve more highly in a ranking
exercise such as the ENTER score. As educators, our focus must be on
standards and achievements, not rankings. "
He is writing as of May 2002.
You may like to check out the School Choice site at:
Here are details of every secondary school in Melbourne in a very easy
searchable form - select area, speciality, religious affiliation etc.
A simple clear summary of each school gives a good idea of their
philosophy as well as contact details. For example,
Albert Park offers:
"Comprehensive education is provided in a supportive, non-threatening
and adult atmosphere. A school-work link program helps students who
left school early to complete their studies and the college features
links with RMIT and TAFE."
"Ashwood College is a medium-sized school, large enough to operate an
extensive program, yet small enough to give each student a special
place in the community. Uniform is compulsory."Ashwood College is a
medium-sized school, large enough to operate an extensive program, yet
small enough to give each student a special place in the community.
Uniform is compulsory.
A less user friendly site by the Victorian Education Department lists
all of the Victorian schools, but adds links to those schools which
have their own web sites - a great way to research a school without
having to travel. The site is at:
It covers Government, private and Catholic systemic schools. Choose
which type you want and on the new page fill in the region you are
interested in and "Secondary", along with any other selection criteria
you May have, in the boxes to perform a search. A list of schools will
appear (limited to the top 200 entries. Schools with their own
websites have a hyperlink in blue on their listing.
You can also search by school features such as music, uniform or part
time apprenticeships. I wouldn't start with this site - it's too broad
- but it seems a very good way to glean additional information about a
shortlist, or an specific area.
In print you should be able to buy The Age Good Schools Guide Victoria
2003 from I Subscribe at:
It costs $23.00 inc GST and is described as:
"... the ultimate handbook to Victorian secondary schools.
....Detailed information to help choose the right school for your
Fully revised and updated annually, the edition includes school
profiles, curriculum range, size and sector, VCE performance,
impartial advice and more."
I understand it is also available through newsagents."
For interest I also searched for Relocation agents, but could find no
impartial specialists online in the area, though some real estate
agents claim to offer such services.
Good luck with your move.
Secondary Schools ranking Melbourne
"From Place to Place report"
"The Age Good Schools Guide"