Better Education Rankings: QASMT in Toowong Tops Queensland’s Best Schools for Years 7-10

The Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology (QASMT) in Toowong has once again secured its position as one of the premier secondary schools in the state. 

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According to the latest rankings released by independent specialist schools website Better Education, QASMT leads a compilation of public and private schools in Queensland for students in Years 7-10.

The rankings, which consider Year 9 English and Maths test results from 2023, provide a comprehensive overview of academic performance across the state. With a scoring system ranging from 60 to 100, the results highlight the exceptional standards achieved by Queensland’s leading schools.

Photo credit: Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology/Facebook


QASMT boasts an impressive state overall score of 100 and continues to set the benchmark for academic excellence. The school has a total enrollment of 1,320 students and consistently ranks first in Queensland for the number of students achieving an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) of 99 or above.

Understanding the Rankings: How Schools Are Evaluated

Better Education’s rankings are derived from various academic performance indicators, ensuring a thorough assessment of each institution’s capabilities. The criteria include:

  • Median VCE Study Score and High VCE Scores: Evaluating the median study score and the percentage of scores above 40.
  • Distinguished Achievers in HSC Exams: The percentage of exams that achieve a Distinguished Achievers (DA) designation.
  • Median ATAR Score and Lower ATAR Thresholds: Including the median ATAR score and the percentage of students with an ATAR of 65 or lower.
  • QCE and OP/IBD Performance: Median ATAR scores and the percentage of students achieving high ATAR scores (99+, 95+, 90+, 80+), as well as the percentage of students receiving top OP scores.
  • WACE Median ATAR: The median ATAR score for Western Australian Certificate of Education.
  • SACE Performance: ATAR performance for South Australian Certificate of Education students.
  • Top Percentile Performance: Percentage of students ranking in the top 1%, 5%, 10%, and 20% by ATAR.

These metrics allow for a nuanced understanding of school performance across different states and education systems, ensuring parents and students have access to reliable information when choosing the best educational pathways.


Photo credit: Google Street View


QASMT was established in January 2007 in collaboration with the University of Queensland, focusing on fostering talent in the fields of science and mathematics. The academy occupies the site of the former Toowong College, repurposing the space into a hub for advanced education.

As Queensland’s top school, QASMT’s sustained excellence reflects its commitment to high academic standards and specialised focus areas. The latest rankings underscore the school’s leadership in preparing students for tertiary education and beyond, setting a high bar for other institutions to follow.

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For parents, students, and educators, the Better Education rankings offer invaluable insights into the academic strengths of Queensland’s schools. With comprehensive data driving these assessments, families can make informed decisions about their educational futures, guided by a clear understanding of school performance across the state.

Published 3-June-2024 

QASMT P&C Members Voted to Dissolve Association

Did you know that parents of students at the Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology recently voted to dissolve the QASMT Parents & Citizens committee?

On Thursday evening, 23 March 2023, QASMT parents passed a resolution to dissolve the P&C Association in a 34-4 vote. At least 75 per cent of the members present at the meeting, which was held via Zoom, were needed to dissolve the committee.

They also voted to have the $150,000 funds, including parents’ funds, transferred to the school. 

There were a total of 72 community members who attended the meeting that evening. After a 15-minute heated Q&A, 34 non-member attendees were booted out of the meeting and were not allowed to witness the voting.

In 2022, the school P&C met only four times out of the minimum of six meetings required due to the intense infighting among its members.

President Winand D-Souza said that the committee executive was seeking to dissolve the P&C model in order to streamline the parents and school connection. He added that the changes will lead to better communication between the stakeholders and ultimately a better QASMT.

Opponents, meanwhile, said that the meeting did not offer opportunity for a transparent, open discussion. Chat was also disabled whilst presentations were being conducted.

Prior to the dissolution, Friends of QASMT P&C Association launched an online petition asking the Qld Department of Education Minister Grace Grace to save the Association. 

It said that when P&C members received an email invitation to a ‘Special Meeting’ indicating the Executive’s plan to dissolve the Association, there were no reasons provided and the wider school community has not been notified or consulted.

“Since 2019 this association has funded tens of thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments, VR equipment, laser cutters and printers, outdoor furniture, sports courts, sports and science equipment,” the petition said. 

“It currently is the steward of over $100k of parent raised funds. This fundraising cannot continue upon the initiative of parents and citizens if the Association is dissolved.

“Current leaders may be dissatisfied with how the Association has evolved. If this is the case, they need to step aside and allow others to take the lead to move this Association towards a more positive future.

“Dissolution reduces opportunities for parents to work in partnership with the school and each other.  Dissolution removes transparency and accountability of the expenditure of parent fees.  Our P&C Association provides vital support and ensures there is equity for all – everyone deserves to be heard.  

“In short, it is not in the best interest of students or the school for the QASMT P&C Association to be dissolved.”

Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology has for years been a top-performing state high school in Queensland, consistently showing exceptional NAPLAN and ATAR results.

In 2020, the QASMT expansion was completed which included the new STEM Precinct and the new Languages Precinct.

Published 26-March-2023

Parents Petition to Retain QASMT in Toowong in New Primary School Debate

Parents of students attending Queensland Academy for Science (QASMT) in Toowong do not support the proposal to merge with and move the school to Coorparoo Secondary College, amidst the search for an ideal location to build a new primary school in Brisbane’s west.

Education Queensland is considering this option for its space versus the student population. If QASMT moves to Coorparoo, the Toowong site would be refitted and redeveloped to accommodate the new primary school. Some 1,500 students in QASMT whilst fewer than 400 students in Coorparoo Secondary College will be affected by this merger.

But QASMT P and C President Winand D’Souza said in the radio program 4BC said that they “want to keep it where it is” as the move and merger will not be beneficial to most of the students. 

Mr D’Souza said that the State Government has just spent $33 million of ratepayers’ money on QASMT’s expansion and upgrades with top-notch and state-of-the-art science and math facilities. The improvements have sealed the school’s reputation as the “STEM flagship state school specifically for high performing Queensland students.”

“It is important not to disrupt what we’re trying to do [for the kids] by keeping the school where it is.”

Photo Credit: Google Maps
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Following the community meeting on 15 March 2021, Education Queensland representative Helen Kenworthy reiterated the need for a new primary school in the westside to address the overcapacity in Indooroopilly State School and Ironside State School. However, the parents said QASMT will not be a good location for families with kids going to these two schools. 

This isn’t the first instance QASMT’s move and the merger has been brought to the table. A councillor also suggested merging the school with the University of Queensland but the parents held their ground and insisted that the STEM-focused school has to remain in Toowong. 

There were also suggestions to build the school at the former Toowong Bowls Club on Gailey Road in Taringa but Ms Kenworthy said there could be some restrictions on the use of the land as it was a gift to the community from the Perrin family. 

Meanwhile, Mr D’Souza opened a signature campaign addressing the parliament to retain QASMT in its current location. The petition has drawn over 3,500 signatures as of press time and will remain open until 18 April 2021. 

Access to Vera St Community Garden and Nearby Grounds Reopened

QLD Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology announced residents can now access the Vera St Common, after it decided to reopen a gate they had previously locked, leading to the Vera St Community Garden, Toowong Creek, and adjacent grounds.

This development came after numerous letters and social media posts from Toowong residents expressed indignation and displeasure at the blocked access.

Vera St Common is popular among locals because of the access it provides to a Council bike path, the community garden and composting area that gardeners frequent, and the surrounding areas where children and dog walkers spend time.

Like the nearby West Rugby Club’s fields, Vera St Common is widely considered to be a community hub, with activities centred on the use of the grounds, usually on weekends or in the afternoon hours.

QASMT controls access to the controversial gate because the land north of Toowong Creek is part of school grounds and sometimes used for sports, although the organiser of the community garden had been given the gate key to let people in after the initial closure was implemented.

In an open letter to neighbours dated the 8th of May 2020 and sent over the weekend, Principal Kath Kayrooz of QASMT advised neighbours they could resume dog walking and other uses as long as they obeyed set rules.

“After long negotiations with the Department of Education Security and Facilities, I am pleased to advise that we will unlock the gate on Vera St this afternoon,’’ Principal Kayrooz said.

Ms Kayrooz explained that reports of breaches of social distancing rules to the DoE regional office led to the decision to block access to Vera St Common.

Other Concerns

Recently, the area has been the subject of protests because of perceived environmental ramifications to local flora and fauna, brought about by building works undertaken by the school adjacent to the creek.

In 2019, concerns were raised about the need to fell more than 58 trees in the area, including a 300-year-old grey ironbark. Efforts to save the centuries-old, protected ironbark tree led the government, Council, and the school to agree to move one building 11 metres.

A group of environmentalists led by zoologist Iris Hing also lamented the destruction of the native habitat of indigenous species, such as rare, native amphibians that make their home in Toowong Creek.

Other concerns raised by neighbours about the construction works include increased vehicular and foot traffic; decreased on-street parking, increased noise pollution; disruption on native fauna brought about by the construction; and neighbourhood traffic disruption during event nights at the school.

The protests and some instances of vandalism in the past year have raised security concerns which led to 24-hour security details and a proposed security fence that will be completed by the mid-year.

At present though, Principal Kayrooz has said that residents can again access the park and adjacent grounds at will, provided they abide by social distancing rules, use the area on the north bank of Toowong Creek only during daytime hours, keep dogs on leashes, and pick up after their pets.

A compromise on concerns about the school construction has yet to be made.

Toowong’s QASMT Tops 2018 OP/IBD School Ranking

Once IB results were converted to their OP 1-5 equivalents, it became clear that Toowong’s Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology clearly outperformed all other schools in Queensland in the 2018 OP/IBD School Ranking, the Better Education website revealed.

QASMT has an OP 1-5 equivalent score of 65 percent, besting its equally impressive 2017 score of 63.8 percent, according to the OP/IBD school ranking by Better Education.

In fact, it bested Brisbane Grammar School, which took the third place with an OP 1-5 score of 51.4 percent. Queensland Academy of Health Sciences ranked second with an OP 1-5 equivalent score of 57.8 percent.

The ranking, in a way, recognized QASMT students’ academic achievement in 2018, which is otherwise overshadowed by the OP results ranking.

QASMT, a select entry school currently caters to Year 10 to 12 students, with planned expansion scheduled to commence by the start of 2019 school year, which will accommodate Year 7 students. The expansion meant to accommodate Years 8 to 9 students, on the other hand, is scheduled to be completed for the 2020 school year.

Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology expansion project
Video Credit: Queensland Department of Education / YouTube

Introduced in 1992, OP or Overall Position, is the statewide rank based on a student’s overall achievement in Authority subjects and is used for tertiary entrance purposes. OP measures a student’s performance as compared to other OP-eligible students, on a scale from 1 to 25 with 1 as the highest and 25 as the lowest.

The International Baccalaureate is an internationally recognized pre-university course for secondary students aged between 16 and 19. The International Baccalaureate or IB, which started in 1968 in Switzerland, is an inquiry-based style of learning, which teaches students to think critically and independently to help them be more adaptable to change with a global perspective.

The International Baccalaureate program is divided into: Primary Years Program or PYP for ages 3-12; Middle Years Program or MYP for ages 11-16; Diploma Program or DP for ages 16-19; and Career-related Program or CP for ages 16-19.

Toowong Property Market Stays Strong Despite Fear of Troubled Australian Market

Toowong has proven to be quite a resilient suburb over the last 12 months in the midst of a troubled Australian property market that saw widespread price falls in Sydney and Melbourne.

Real estate experts at Byrony O’Neill Estate Agents tagged February 2018 as the best performing month for Toowong in the period covering 2017 to early 2018, with median house price rising to $850,000. Toowong was, in fact, performing relatively well, posting a moderate average annual growth of about 2 percent during that 12-month period.

As the market progresses in 2019, Byrony O’Neill sees a renewed vigour from buyers and stronger demand for Toowong properties.

The positive news, however, came before jitters over the state of housing market in Sydney and Melbourne started sending shockwaves across the nation.

Photo Credit: User Adz on en.wikipedia [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

Media Hype

As media put the spotlight on the downward spiral that was hurting Sydney and Melbourne, consumer confidence came crashing, causing Brisbane’s own property market to come to a halt.

“Media hype rattled consumer confidence and Brisbane paused to consider the effects a falling Sydney and Melbourne market would have on the rest of the nation,” said Byrony O’Neill, Director at Byrony O’Neill Estate Agents.

“Toowong experienced a slight cooling in the property market, as concerns of a market decline embellished by the media, put everyone on high alert.

“Property prices softened by about 4% from February to November 2018, bringing the median sale price back to $814,000. Still well above the Brisbane average of $680,000,” O’Neill said.

Toowong Bucking the Trend

Surprisingly, Toowong apartment market bucked the downward trend, despite the supply glut in Brisbane unit market, recording growth throughout 2018.

Toowong showed year-on-year unit value growth of 4.44 percent from November 2017 to November 2018. Conversely, Brisbane’s median unit prices dropped four percent during the same period.

Toowong apartment market in 2019 is still seen to post good results, said Ms O’Neil, with the right “pre-market preparation.”

“Neatly presented, older style apartments offer more spacious layouts and are generally lower in body corporate fees. With a marketing campaign strategically targeted towards homeowners and first home buyers, these apartments are selling within good timeframes,” she said.

2019 Outlook for Toowong

Toowong’s housing market outlook for 2019 still looks bright as buyer confidence and property demand show signs of “renewed vigour.” As rising demand continue to consume supply, competition will become tighter.

“A shortage of homes in the suburb and surrounds, is generating competition within the market, resulting in a number of properties receiving multiple offers from buyers.

“The average length of ownership has now stretched to 13 years, indicating that more homeowners are choosing to stay in this tightly held suburb. With the number of properties being sold continuing to decline in Toowong, buyers are having to compete for the few homes that do become available.”

Photo Credit: Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology /

School catchment is one of Toowong’s drawcards which is seen to continue to drive prices in the housing market in 2019. The Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics and Technology, in particular, have expanded its enrolment, which now include grades 7 to 9.

“Since the announcement, there has been increased demand for houses which are in close proximity to this school, including the occurrence of several off-market sales. A rare 371sqm parcel of vacant land in Toowong was sold exclusively through our client database for $640,000. The purchaser has now commenced work to build their family home so his daughter can attend the Queensland Academy,” said O’Neill.