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Moving to Brisbane - School Advice


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#1 Hufflepuff

Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:58 AM

So work was going to send us to Sydney but now it looks like Brisbane instead!  I know barely anything about Brisbane. Been there only once years ago.

We are looking at living around West End, Wolloongabba, Kangaroo Point areas.

One kid will be in High School next year & the other in Primary. We are only looking at State Schools and these areas are zoned for:-

West End State School
East Brisbane State School
Brisbane State High School
Coorparoo Secondary Collage

Can you tell me more about these schools?

Thanks :)

#2 spr_maiden

Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:43 AM

West end state school is incredibly overpopulated,  and set to become even more so. East Brisbane SS is tiny.
Both are good schools,  and enrolment managed.

Coorparoo secondary college has a fantastic drama program, has quite a bad rep but new principal in a couple of years ago plus govt plans to revitalise school. It's at 50% enrolment capacity.

Brisbane state high school is THE most sought after high school in the state. 50% selective entry (mostly academic and sport), excellent results. If your child is not top of field in either,  I've been told they won't get much access to teams/programs etc. In saying that,  it's a really good school.  ~3000 students. Very strict catchment guidelines that are followed to the letter.

#3 Hufflepuff

Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:20 PM

Thank you spr_maiden that is super helpful. Especially knowing Coorparoo has a Drama program. One of my kids would love that.

Does anyone know what the traffic would be like for school drop off/ pick up for East State & Coorparoo from either West End or Kangaroo Point?  

Are there buses for High School kids that take them to the zoned schools?  I can’t find any info.

#4 spr_maiden

Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:33 PM

Public transport, no school buses. Buses would probably be easiest vs trains. Or train with bus or bike.  West end to Brisbane state high could be a bike ride.  

That drive across town before school could take between 15 - 50 minutes for  West end to Coorparoo. K Pt to those schools would be shorter.

Eta: I'm not sure how car drop off is managed for East Bris SS as it is located next to the Gabba stadium (on same large block),  in amongst main roads. People we know who attend cycle.

Edited by spr_maiden, 21 March 2019 - 01:35 PM.


#5 Hufflepuff

Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:50 PM

aaahhh OK would have to ask East State about drop off. The enrolment zone is quite large so there must be a way. We can’t guarantee getting a rental within walking/bike distance of school (unless we live in West End & they go to BSH & West End)

Our work will be in South Bank & Woollongabba. One of us will walk or catch River Cat to work. The other drive & do drop off / pick up.

We are doing a look around trip in a few weeks but as it will be a weekend judging the traffic will be harder.

#6 Lunagirl

Posted 21 March 2019 - 07:59 PM

Hi OP,

Woolloongabba has three zoned primary schools depending on where in the suburb you live. As well as East Brisbane, part of the suburb is zoned for Dutton Park primary and part for Buranda. Both schools have decent reputations. Dutton Park has a drop off area, not sure about Buranda. Both are catchment controlled.

#7 spr_maiden

Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:07 AM

Living in Southbank and getting to any of those schools via PT is easy enough. Easier than the drive/PT from west end to school as it cuts out the required change of bus line. The drive across town is 10 minutes out of peak traffic, so weekend drive will make it seem ok. Trust me though, it will get tired really quickly  as a school am routine...

#8 JuicyLife

Posted 23 March 2019 - 09:27 AM

For West End State Primary and Brisbane State High public transport wouldn’t really be an issue - they are catchment managed, so you need to live close. You can drive or your kids can walk/bike/scooter depending on yours and their preferences. Traffic at WESS is fine, I have no issue with it.

Feel free to PM me, I have kids at both.

#9 Hufflepuff

Posted 28 April 2019 - 05:06 PM

* Updated *
Can anyone give me some more advice. This time about St James College &/or All Hallows Girls.
Also any more info on Coorparoo.

Have done our look around & need to expand our choice of potential schools in Kangaroo Point area.

#10 Babetty

Posted 28 April 2019 - 07:11 PM

A friend of mine has 2 girls at All Hallows and they're very happy with it. Good with the arts and pastoral care.

#11 JuicyLife

Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:38 PM

I wouldn’t look at St James, personally.

ETA, Sorry, have realised that’s probably not a very helpful post. St James is not a very academic school. It’s certainly very different from the other schools you’ve mentioned you’re looking at.

Edited by JuicyLife, 29 April 2019 - 07:11 AM.


#12 Hufflepuff

Posted 29 April 2019 - 08:57 AM

I know nothing about these schools so I’m not surprised if there are big differences :)

Main thing is looking for the best school I can get that is the easiest to access from Kangaroo Point. All Hallows’ looks amazing but definitely on the expensive side. St James is half the cost so appeals from that perspective. . Both schools are only a short bus ride.

Coorparoo is the zoned State School but tricker to get to with a change of bus halfway making a 10min trip more like 45mins.

Add in the fact I also need a Primary school, it’s hard figuring out the logistics.

#13 little lion

Posted 29 April 2019 - 09:15 AM

Is Kangaroo Point definitely your home base? It isn’t a really typical family suburb. Nothing wrong with that, though. West End or South Bank would be more family focused inner suburbs or head outbound a little towards Coorparoo, Norman Park etc.

Edited to add that Deshon St Woolloongabba is a less than desirable area (brothels etc) so I would personally avoid that.

Another edit: if you want to consider a P-12 public school in this area to simplify things, the only one I can think of is Whites Hill State College https://whiteshillsc...es/default.aspx although I have no personal experience of that school.

Edited by little lion, 29 April 2019 - 09:22 AM.


#14 somila

Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:13 AM

No direct experience, but from what I see/hear:

St James prides itself on inclusivity (dux last year was in media coverage last year https://www.abc.net....to-uni/10511418)

whereas All Hallows is among the 'elite' Catholic girl's schools of Brisbane (first girls school in Brisbane?  and big focus on tradition etc) which accounts for the price difference.

#15 .Jerry.

Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:19 AM

Don't know anything much about the elite private schools.

As for a state primary school in that area, you can't go wrong.  All the state primary schools there are pretty good.  Very different in size though:  West End is huge and bursting at seams; East Brisbane is small.  Coorparoo has a good reputation, but I wouldn't drive past others to get to it.  

If you are in Bris State High catchment, you should go there. I wouldn't go to Whites Hill or Coorparoo at this stage, but they are both showing good improvement.
Another one to consider, though a bit further out, is Mt Gravatt State High.  Small (only 1200 students) but has an excellent reputation and is very sought after these days.   Plenty of kids travel to get to it.  You can get out of catchment enrolment when there are vacancies and if you have good report card from previous school.

#16 little lion

Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:36 AM

Thanks Jerry I will have to file away Mt Gravatt High in my own list of schools to shortlist in a few years. :) Any feedback on Cav Rd, Balmoral or Macgregor High?

#17 purplekitty

Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:53 AM

View Postsomila, on 29 April 2019 - 10:13 AM, said:


whereas All Hallows is among the 'elite' Catholic girl's schools of Brisbane (first girls school in Brisbane?  and big focus on tradition etc) which accounts for the price difference.
It used to be difficult to get in to as well.

#18 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:59 AM

Cav road good for sporting and performing arts i believe. I think heavily catchment managed but scholarships for gifted students i think? Balmoral - my mum taught there a looooong time ago so dont know about that these days. Macgregor is great for performing Arts.

#19 spr_maiden

Posted 29 April 2019 - 02:08 PM

Re Deshon St Woolloongabba - due to the state schools in the area,  Woolloongabba is actually heavily populated by families with young children. There are only 2 streets around there I can think of that I wouldn't live in.  We lived around there and it was the friendliest, safest family neighbourhood we've ever lived in. Much more community focused than the suburb we're in that is meant to be full of middle class families.  Can't wait to move from this suburb tbh.

Cav rd has a good reputation.  I've heard both positive and negative experiences of families from there.  Whites Hill I've been told is full of drugs and not a great academics school, lots of families try to go to out of catchment schools instead - however, this is only second hand info so how true it is, IDK.

All Hallows and St James rarely get a mention so no feedback for you.

Edited by spr_maiden, 15 May 2019 - 10:44 PM.


#20 purplekitty

Posted 29 April 2019 - 02:57 PM

I should get out more.
Deshon St. being full of brothels is news to me.

#21 2bundles

Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:11 PM

All Hallows’ is very hard to get into. You would have more luck at the other girls catholic schools - Lourdes Hill, Loretto, San Sisto.  Villanova for boys.
St James has a name of being a good vocational school.

Lots of kids travel for high school. It’s not a big deal. More important to find the right school.

#22 can'tstayaway

Posted 12 May 2019 - 11:55 AM

View Postlittle lion, on 29 April 2019 - 09:15 AM, said:

Is Kangaroo Point definitely your home base? It isn’t a really typical family suburb. Nothing wrong with that, though. West End or South Bank would be more family focused inner suburbs or head outbound a little towards Coorparoo, Norman Park etc.

Edited to add that Deshon St Woolloongabba is a less than desirable area (brothels etc) so I would personally avoid that.
Just wondering if you have been in the area lately?  Like the last 10years or so?

Kangaroo Point has lots of young families and wealthy retiree types. Just look at the cars in the area - late model Euros. The cafe and delis. It’s close to lots of ammenities and services. Big parks. I would be happy to live there with my family. There are a few places that are obvious dilapidated rentals where the developer is waiting to knock down but the area is being gentrified.

Deshon St Woollongabba is also being gentrified. There’s a Hyatt Hotel opening on Deshon St next year, currently being built. It is light industrial but we’re not talking smelly industrial - it’s specialist car garage (think vintage Jaguars and Porches), boutiques coffee roaster, suba diving supply shop, plumbing supplies etc.

I’m not sure about the accuracy of brothels on Deshon St itself because it’s too close to the Rotary Park and Moorhen Flats. If there are any, they would be contravening some laws. Villanova (Private boys school) is also at the end of that street. There are brothels in other parts of Woolloongabba but they are not noticeable by the average person. They don’t seek attention.

I have friends with children at East Brisbane SS, Brisbane State High and St James. I know a teacher a Coorparoo State High. Everyone is happy with their respective school because it suits their child.

The child at St James moved from an elite private school. The family love it because it is meeting their child’s quirky needs better than the strict private school. The child has been assessed as very highly gifted and the school is helping the child really blossom. Siblings are still at the other private schools.

The teacher at Coorparoo raves about the leadership team and what a great place it is to work.

I understand logistics are important but finding the best fit for each child is also important so they settle in well.

#23 little lion

Posted 12 May 2019 - 12:55 PM

Yes I live locally. Admittedly not as close to those suburbs as before but close enough.

I agree Kangaroo Point is full of wealthy retirees. Not so many young families. Perhaps we have to agree to disagree on this.

I have heard about the Hyatt and it would be great if it improves the Gabba a bit. Yes there are private schools like Villanova very close by but it also known for motorcycle gangs holding commercial property nearby (not sure if this is still an issue). Maybe the brothels have moved but that general area used to be well known for it so I felt I should I raise it so the OP can look into it themselves. The Gabba isn’t all bad but it does have some points that need investigating that aren’t a problem in neighboring suburbs.

#24 purplekitty

Posted 12 May 2019 - 01:03 PM

I've lived in the inner south for over 30 years,I'm thinking you're living a bit in the past.

#25 can'tstayaway

Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:25 PM

I agree, that you may be living in the past.

A prominent motorcycle gang also holds property/ies in Ascot which is one of the most expensive and toffee nosed suburbs in Qld.  I believe there are still brothels in Woollongabba but not on Deshon St. There are also brothels in Albion which is next door to Ascot that seems to do a roaring trade - I am perverse and stare at the car park while I’m stuck in traffic (I’m not their target demographic but I’m surprised they’re so busy at 7:30am lol).

As for Kangaroo Point, if you actually frequent the area these days, you’ll see it’s bustling with young families. Walk around the many parks, riverside pathways, local shops or watch the kids riding bikes home from East Brisbane State School.

There are so many good restaurants and cafes in the Woollongabba area that it’s becoming a bit of a dining destination. It’s not all shiny and squeaky clean new because they are trying to maintain diversity in the area. The local Greens councillor is very vocal in speaking up for those who might otherwise be pushed out in the usual ‘gentrification’ of suburbs and its resulting in an area that’s interesting and not cookie cutter.




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