Selective schools are ones that admit smart kids only. Leftists oppose selective schools as a violation of their idiotic "all men are equal" doctrine but their success speaks for itself. That success is the main thing that shields them from envious attacks.
A small complication is that the kids doing best in exams are not only from selective schools but of Asian background. James Ruse Agricultural High School is almost entirely populated by students of East Asian and South Asian ancestry. Asians are on average smarter. But even discounting the Asian element, selective schools still score best
James Ruse Agricultural High School has claimed the title of NSW’s top school for the 25th year in a row, an unparalleled achievement in the history of the Higher School Certificate.
Baulkham Hills High School was second, with North Sydney Boys’ and Girls’ high schools third and fourth. Sydney Grammar, at fifth, was the only independent school in the state’s top 10.
The top non-selective school was Ascham, at 11th. Mackellar Girls High, part of the Northern Beaches Secondary College (NBSC) network, was the highest-placed public comprehensive school at 43rd. Parramatta Marist High was the top Catholic systemic school at 46th.
Tangara School for Girls, which was forced to close for two weeks in August due to a COVID-19 cluster affecting senior students, climbed 78 places to 25th, its best performance in several years.
James Ruse principal Rachel Powell stepped into the role two years ago. “We got it! That’s such a relief,” she told the Herald. “It’s vindication of of all the hard work this year.”
The principal of Mackellar Girls’, Christine del Gallo, said she was “absolutely delighted that we were able to support our girls through the COVID-19 dilemma to enable them to achieve such amazingly wonderful results for them.”
Concerns private school students would have an advantage over high-performing public students due to better remote learning resources and a shorter shutdown due to COVID-19 appear to have been unfounded, with more public schools in the top 10 than any year since 2014 and more comprehensive state schools in the top 100 than last year.
It also did not appear to affect overall results among top students, with 17,507 distinguished achievers this year compared with 17,122 in 2019.
Of the top 50 schools, 18 were government selective schools, one was a comprehensive state school, two were Catholic systemic schools, and the rest were independent.
Of 14 independent schools in the top 25, nine were single-sex girls’ schools. Single-sex public comprehensive schools also fared well, with Willoughby Girls’ at 59, NBSC Balgowlah Boys’ campus at 60, and Epping Boys’ High at 76. Chatswood High, a co-ed comprehensive school, was 69th.
The highest-placed Catholic systemic schools were Parramatta Marist High, Brigidine College Randwick at 49th, and St Ursula’s College at 79th.
James Ruse has finished first in the HSC rankings since 1996, when it took the crown off Sydney Grammar. It was originally established as a farming school, and agriculture is still a compulsory subject.
It has become the most sought after of the state’s 50-odd selective schools, and has the highest year 7 entry scores. Alumni include Atlassian founder Scott Farquhar and concert pianist David Fung.