Sydney Boys High School is a single sex-selective school that has consistently ranked in the top 10 of NSW schools in the HSC. The school is built on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who are its Traditional Custodians. Sydney Boys High School has gained a reputation for debating, having won the Hume Barbour and Karl Cramp trophies more times than any other school. And also for sports, as a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS or GPS) and the Combined High School Association, which they’ve won premierships in basketball and rugby several times in the past.
Students can gain entrance into year 7 through the Selective High Schools Test, while a smaller portion of students are admitted in years 8, 9 and 11 by applying directly to the school.
Sydney Boys High School was established on 1 October 1883, making it the first state high school in New South Wales founded solely for the purpose of public secondary education under the Public Instruction Act 1880. Then, it was known as The Sydney High School and consisted of two single-sex schools (now referred to as Sydney Girls and Sydney Boys) on separate floors in a single building designed by Francis Greenway and constructed by convicts.
This building was located in Castlereagh Street in the Sydney CBD, where the Elizabeth Street store of David Jones now stands. Up until the boys’ school was relocated to Mary Ann Street in Ultimo in 1892, Sydney Boys occupied the lower floor and entered from the Castlereagh Street side of the building, while Sydney Girls occupied the upper floor and entered from the Elizabeth Street side.
This building was demolished in 1924 after both schools were relocated to Moore Park in 1921. The school is still situated in Moore Park, but on a different site designed by George McRae — the architect of the Queen Victoria Building (QVB).
Sydney Boys is amongst a handful of schools in NSW that have always been academically selective. Sydney Boys High School, as we know it today, prides itself in facilitating student sporting achievement as well as academic performance, and has been a member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW (AAGPS or GPS) since 1906. Note that the term ‘Public Schools’ here is used to mean ‘private schools’ as is conventional in the United Kingdom, and Sydney Boys remains the sporting association’s only government school member.
Sydney Boys is responsible for producing some significant public figures in a wide range of disciplines.
Chief executive of the State Bank of NSW
CEO of Commonwealth Bank Australia
Major property owner and developer in NSW
30th Prime Minister of Australia
Sir Earle Page
11th Prime Minister of Australia
15th Premier of Western Australia
31st Opposition Leader of NSW
1st Opposition Leader of Northern Territory
NSW Minister for Health (1986–88)
NSW Minister for the Environment and then Education (1976-1983)
Sir Howard Beale
Ambassador to the United States (1958–1964)
9th President of the World Bank
Awarded Order of Australia in 1994 for service to international relations and to public sector reform
Sir John Crawford
Adviser to the World Bank, Chancellor of the Australian National University (1974–1984), Australian of the Year (1981)
Sir Leighton Bracegirdle
Australian military commander and an Official Secretary to Australian governors-general
Sir Roden Cutler
Australian diplomat, 32nd Governor of New South Wales and awarded the Victoria Cross
Sir Richard Kingsland Kt.
Decorated World War II Air Force pilot
Hon. John Halden Wootten
Justice of Supreme Court of New South Wales (1973–83), awarded Order of Australia in 1990 for service to human rights, to conservation, to legal education and to the law
Sir Gordon Wallace
Supreme Court of New South Wales judge (1960–1970), President of New South Wales Court of Appeal (1966–1970), Acting Chief Justice of New South Wales (1968–1969)
Sir Frederick Richard Jordan
9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1934–1949)
Hon. James Spigelman
16th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1998–2011)
Hon. Bryan Beaumont
Justice of the Federal Court of Australia (1983–2005)
Hon. Marcus Einfeld
Justice of the Federal Court of Australia (1986–2001) and President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission
Olympic gold medalist at 1948 Summer Olympics in single sculls, NSW Commissioner of Police (1977–79)
Olympic gold medalist at 1900 Summer Olympics 5000 metres team race
England test cricketer and player for Middlesex County Cricket Club
Chairman of the New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and Rugby League International Federation
Football player for Australia and Melbourne City FC
Australian Open Singles Champion (1937) and Doubles Champion (1935)
Medicine and Science
Dr Graeme Clark
Pioneer of the multiple-channel cochlear implant; awarded the Fellow of the Royal Society, Australian Father of the Year award (2004) and Centenary Medal (2003)
Sir Henry Harris
Professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, pioneering work on cancer and human genetics in the 1960s
Dr Alfred van der Poorten
Number theorist and former president of the Australian Mathematical Society
Dr Kelvin Lancaster
Mathematical economist and Professor of Economics at Columbia University; co-developed the Theory of the Second Best
Dr John D. Pollard
Professor of Neurology at the University of Sydney, former Chair of Executive and Head, Department of Medicine, University of Sydney
Sir John Cornforth
Awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalysed reactions (1975)
Entertainment and the arts
Oscar-winning actor (2000)
Actor in Neighbours, The Bill, City Homicide and Wild Boys and television presenter for Dancing with the Stars and The X Factor
Film producer for Happy Feet, Mad Max trilogy, Babe
Dr George Miller
Film director for Happy Feet, Mad Max trilogy, Babe
Actor in Wake in Fright, Sunday Too Far Away, The Man from Snowy River and Breaker Morant
Head of International for Syco TV (joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment)
How many students go to Sydney Boys? What are their post-school destinations? How does they perform? Let’s take a look.
The student population consistently consists of around 1200 students (all boys).
Total number of students
Over the past 5 years, almost all students have attained an HSC and progressed to university study upon graduating.
The full list of school rankings can be found here.