What is an Independent school?

Each Independent school in Victoria operates with a unique autonomy, offering diversity in education.

In Victoria, there are three school sectors: Government, Catholic and Independent. Our organisation represents member schools in the Independent sector.

Independent schools exist for a variety of reasons, including cultural, religious and philosophical. Some Independent schools operate on a standalone basis, while others are part of a system or group of schools with a common bond.

Independent schools are diverse in the communities they serve, the approach they take to education, the needs of their students, and their size. What they all share is a sense of autonomy.

All schools in Victoria operate within the bounds of state and Australian Government legislation in areas such as finance, accountability, curriculum, and assessment and reporting. Independent schools are distinguished by their own management and governance structures.

Inside our Schools

Inside our Schools is an ISV video series highlighting the breadth and diversity of Independent schools across Victoria.

Deutsche Schule Melbourne

Deutsche Schule Melbourne offers a bilingual English-German education for students in Foundation through to Year 6.

Discover the Deutsche Schule Melbourne
Hester Hornbrook Academy

Hester Hornbrook Academy is a special assistance school catering to students between 15 to 25 years old.

Discover the Hester Hornbrook Academy
King David School

In the words of Principal Marc Light, the King David School ‘moves to the rhythm of the Jewish calendar’.

Discover the King David School

Benefits of Independent education

Independent schools provide a variety of options that provide a variety of benefits.

Parents choose independent schools for many reasons. These may align with a family’s values, religious and philosophical beliefs, or the unique needs of their child. Some independent schools are established primarily to support youth at risk, meeting and addressing a real community need.

Ultimately the benefit of an independent school is that it will provide an education which is right for the student. Independent schools can open up more pathways, allowing each student to be their best.

Facts and figures

By the numbers

Get up-to-date fast facts and figures about Independent schools – how many schools, how many students, how many staff, how they are funded – and more.

School funding

How the Australian Government funds Independent schools

School funding is a complex process and is often characterised by misinformation.

Parents contribute the majority of Independent schools’ income through the fees they pay, with the remainder coming from federal and state governments.

We’ve produced this short video that sets out clearly how the current funding model works.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning: Setting the standards.

Teachers at Independent schools must be registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching, a statutory authority that regulates the teaching profession in all schools.

This means they must meet and maintain professional standards and codes of conduct. Teachers work in schools that are required to implement the Australian, the Victorian or another approved Curriculum.

Independent schools and their teachers meet – and often exceed – minimum standards set by governments and comply with regulations covering student reports.

School locator

Explore our interactive map to find an Independent school that matches your needs, values and location.