St Margaret’s Anglican Students Have Fewer School Days in 2024 Than Public School Students

Did you know that largely because of the school’s longer instructional hours in a day, students at St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot will be spending up to five and a half weeks less days in school than their Queensland public school counterparts this school year?

Read: New School Openings Prompt Catchment Changes Across Brisbane

The Christmas holiday for students at St Margaret’s will commence on 21 November 2024, giving them almost three weeks of extra vacation before public schools start break on December 13. Total school hours for the year, however, remain comparably similar to public school hours because of the longer days.

From Monday to Thursday, school hours at St Margaret’s run from 8:20 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. and Friday hours are 8:20 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. — that means students study for a total of 34 hours and 40 minutes in a standard week.

Photo credit: St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School/Google Maps 

Students at St Margaret’s will spend 171 days in school this year. Students at other private schools such as Marist College Ashgrove or St Peters Lutheran in Indooroopilly will likewise spend less than 180 days in school, as independent schools traditionally align their schedules around the needs of their students, school communities, and activities calendar for the year.

A spokesperson from Independent Schools Queensland stated that historically, the shorter terms at some private schools were to accommodate boarding students travelling from afar. Whilst this is still the case for many institutions, the spokesman added that there are other factors like overall campus time and school activities that determine term length.

Photo credit: St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School/Google Maps 

In contrast, Queensland public school students will spend 199 days in school this year.

The significantly shortened academic calendar at St Margaret’s and some other elite private schools is perceived to be creating an imbalance between public and private institutions and causing logistical challenges for some families. 

There are parents who struggle to coordinate work leave, childcare help from relatives, and vacation plans with friends to accommodate the extra time off.

At the same time, numerous rural families purposefully send their children to prestigious Brisbane boarding schools so they can return home for holidays several weeks earlier than if they attended their local public schools. 

Read: Student from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot Takes Top Prize at 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition

Although private schools maintain their abbreviated terms to serve the needs of their student population, the significant discrepancy continues to elicit mixed reactions from families.

Moving forward, communication and coordination between private and public sectors will be key to finding solutions that bridge divides and create more uniformity in scheduling where possible. 

Published 10-January-2024

Student from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot Takes Top Prize at 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition

Ellouise Tkaczyk from St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School in Ascot stood out as a shining star at the 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition, winning the Year 9 and Year 10 category with her short story, “Blood and Ribbon.”

Now in its 64th year, the IEU-QNT Literary Competition is the longest-running writing competition in Queensland.

Organised in partnership with the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ), the competition seeks to inspire and recognise the talents of students and staff from state and non-government schools, promoting the growth of literary development and creative expression in young minds.

St Margaret Anglican School Ellouise Tkaczyk
Photo Credit: IEU-QNT

Terry Burke, the IEU-QNT Branch Secretary, highlighted the value of the Literary Competition in fostering young writers’ creativity and honing their writing skills.

He expressed his delight at the diversity and exceptional quality of this year’s submissions from all across the state, affirming that the judges were greatly impressed by the exceptional talent on display.

“I congratulate those outstanding writers who were awarded prizes and thank all the recipients who entered the 2023 Literary Competition,” Mr Burke said, emphasizing the importance of nurturing a love for literature and creative expression among the youth.

List of Literary Competition winners for 2023


• Short story: David Coleman-Mann, Chancellor State College, Sippy Downs, Sunshine Cost

Year 11 and 12

• Short story: Milli Gornik, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

• Poem: Salem Williams, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Non-fiction prose: Felicity Williams, All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac

Year 9 and 10

Short story: Ellouise Tkaczyk, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, Ascot

• Poem: Huntar Paterson, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 7 and 8

• Short story: Estella Dobbins, St Patrick’s College Townsville, The Strand, North Ward

• Poem: Dominic Palmani, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 5 and 6

• Short story: Isaac Furlong, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Poem: Lawson Plumbe, Toowoomba East State School, East Toowoomba

Published 25-Aug-2023

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School #5 in Top 10 Most Expensive QLD Schools

Did you know that St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School ranks #5 in the list of the Top 10 most expensive schools in Queensland?

Here’s a rundown of the State’s priciest schools.

School FeesExtraTotal
Brisbane Grammar School$28,230$1,220$29,450
Brisbane Boys College$24,724$2,444$27,168
Brisbane Girls Grammar School$26,555$0$26,555
Anglican Church Grammar School$23,944$1,990$25,934
St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School$24,560$0$24,560
The Southport School$24,438$0$24,438
Somerville House$23,940$0$23,940
St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School$22,120$1,735$23,855
Clayfield College$19,165$2,665$21,830
St Peter’s Lutheran College$20,360$516$20,876

A 2021 National School Fees Report from Edstart showed that 40 percent of private schools across the country did not increase fees for the incoming school term whilst Queensland’s average school fees increase for 2021 was down to 1.19 percent compared to 1.87 percent for 2020   

Photo Credit: Edstart

Despite the annual trend of increasing fees, around 7 percent of Queensland schools also had a minimal increase for 2021 as a relief to families. 

Such was the case of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School. In a statement to enrollees, the administrative officers said that families will receive discounted rates for 2021’s first semester for full payments made before the start of Term 1.  

Photo Credit: St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School/Facebook

“The effect of this discount is that all families will be issued tuition fees based on 2020 levels for the first half of 2021,” the statement read.

“This does not apply to boarding fees or any other charges. The School has an all-inclusive fee policy. The fee covers the cost of all compulsory activities including tuition, QGSSSA sport, technology, year level camps, class excursions and a range of facilities used in the course of a normal school day.”

However, Edstart CEO Jack Stevens said that non-government schools wouldn’t be able to sustain flat fees or lowered fees in the long run due to mounting expenses like administration compliance, increased staff and facilities upkeep. Mr Stevens said that these factors will more than likely drive school fees up in 2022. 

Edstart, launched in 2016, is a payment provider helping families and students manage the cost of education. 

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Australian Education Awards Finals (Again!)

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School is once again proving its mettle, appearing as one of the finalists in three different categories of the prestigious Australian Education Awards 2020.

The elite Ascot school has made it to the finals for Best STEM Program and has made a repeat appearance in the roster of finalists for Boarding School of the Year, which it won in 2019.

Photo Credit: Facebook/St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

Its popular principal, Ros Curtis, is also a finalist for Principal of the Year (non-government category) for the second consecutive year.

Photo Credit: Facebook/St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

St Margaret’s has annually flexed its academic muscles as it proves itself to be one of Queenslands top schools. From 2017 to 2019, the school has placed within the Top 15 schools in the state across all four NAPLAN categories (Years 3, 5, 7, and 9). Its students topped the Year 3 category of the 2019 NAPLAN in Queensland, no mean feat indeed.

The school has also been given Innovative School awards for 2018 and 2019, for its leading academic advising program and for a program called St Margaret’s Plus, created to recognise and develop students’ skills beyond just the normal academic assessment track.

“To be a finalist in three categories truly speaks to the good work being done by all members of staff, as well as the contribution the girls and their families make to the overall fabric of the school,” Principal Curtis said.

The winners will be announced on the 6th of November at a gala awards ceremony in Sydney.

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, Ascot: Top 2019 NAPLAN Qld Primary School

The Preliminary Results of NAPLAN 2019 has been released and St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School came out as the top Primary School in Queensland.

As in the past, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School performed very well in the 2019 NAPLAN testing. The Ascot-based day and boarding school for girls topped the best performing Qld primary schools list, followed by Rainworth State School in Bardon and  Ashgrove State School in Ashgrove.

All students in Australian schools who are in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 participate in the NAPLAN testing in May of each year. The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses the students’ skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. 

Naplan is an important tool for the schools the parents to assess the child’s progress and identify opportunities for improvement in areas of literacy and numeracy.

NAPLAN 2019 Outcomes for St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

Year 3

Average Score510 494 491 554 479
% of students at or above NMS100%100%100%100%100%
Year 5

Average Score572 530 547 610 537
% of students at or above NMS100%100%99%100%100%
Year 7

Average Score590 562 584 608 597
% of students at or above NMS98% 98% 98%97%100%
Year 9

Average Score633 593  628 641 645
% of students at or above NMS100% 98%100%99%100%
Source: NAPLAN 2019 data from Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Underscoring the 2019 Preliminary NAPLAN Writing Results

ACARA noted that NAPLAN results in writing for 2019 have revealed a “pleasing improvement” from last year, especially that there was a noticeable decline in recent years across all year levels. 

“Schools have been making focused efforts for some time to address concerns about their students’ writing. Students are to be congratulated for this year’s improvement, especially Year 3 students, where the results are particularly encouraging,” ACARA CEO David de Carvalho said. 

Photo credit: State of Queensland (Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) /

Despite the improvement in writing results, comparison of performance in writing by state and territory reveals that Queensland Year 9 students are the second least performing, just a step above the Northern Territory students, with only 77.6 percent of the cohorts meeting or above the national minimum standard. The Qld average is 5.3 percentage points lower than the national average of 82.9 percent.

Moreover, the percentage of Qld students at or above the NMS in Years 3, 5, and 7 also fell below the national average, with the gap increasing with each year.

NAPLAN 2019 achievement of Qld and Australia Year 3,5, and 7 students in writing: 

  • Qld Year 3 – 96.3%, Aust – 96.9% – difference 0.6
  • Qld Year 5 – 91.2%, Aust – 93.1%  – difference 1.9
  • Qld Year 7 – 86.8%, Aust – 89.8%  – difference 3.0
  • Qld Year 9 – 77.6%, Aust – 82.9%  – difference 5.3

Still, Education Minister Grace Grace lauded the preliminary results, stating that  Queensland students continue to perform well in many key areas. 

“This year’s results continue to confirm Queensland as one of the most improved states since testing began in 2008,” Ms Grace said.

“It is great to see our students improving in 17 of 20 NAPLAN test areas against National Minimum Standard, Mean Scale Score and Upper two Bands.”

“After more than 10 years, it’s time for a comprehensive national review of NAPLAN to ensure it remains current and responsive to changes in education,” she said.

“Queensland is still proud to be the star performer when it comes to NAPLAN.”

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot Among Best Primary Schools in Brisbane for 2018

As part of their annual school rankings, Better Education Australia  recently announced that St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School is one of the top primary schools in Brisbane for 2018, with a State Overall Score of 100.

Better Education ranks schools according to their academic performance index every year. The rankings from their website are great references for the top performing schools in Brisbane as well as the entire state. The Better Education school rankings page also allows people to compare schools and check the trend of their rankings over the years.

For the primary schools, the ranking was mainly based on information from the NAPLAN or National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy test results. Although the site lists several schools, not all primary schools in Queensland are being compared on the website.

Better Education’s List of Top Primary Schools in Brisbane for 2018

Better Education compared a total of 150 primary schools in Brisbane for 2018. Out of these schools, eleven were able to get a  State Overall Score of 100. The primary schools that got the highest score include six state schools and five private schools.

Top Private Primary Schools in Brisbane – 2018. Photo credit: Better Education Australia

Along with St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, Better Education’s top non-government primary schools for 2018 are St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Brisbane Grammar School, Clayfield College, and Somerville House.

Top Public Primary Schools in Brisbane – 2018. Photo credit: Better Education Australia

On the other hand, the government schools with the highest scores include Rainworth State School, MacGregor State School, Ashgrove State School, Ironside State School, Wishart State School, and Indooroopilly State School.

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School score trend from 2012-2018. Photo credit: Better Education Australia

In the past few years, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School was able to stay on top of the rankings. The tables above show the school’s performance from 2012 to 2018.

Even though Better Education enlists many schools in Queensland, the Department of Education is not endorsing their school rankings. However, these rankings can still serve as a guide for parents or for anyone who is looking for the best possible schools across the state.

Better Education’s rankings for primary schools are mainly based on NAPLAN test results. There are still other factors to consider when identifying the best schools throughout Queensland. Parents are still encouraged to do more research about a school before deciding which one is the best fit for their children.

Ascot Students Excel in STEM Learning and Sports

A class of Year 9 students in St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot designed, built, and programmed a 3D printed prosthetic hand. The said project is conducted as part of the school’s commitment to hands-on approach towards STEM learning for students.

The students involved in the project have performed biological dissection of the anatomy of the arm and hand, designed it using 3D software, and learnt about circuit design and computer coding. By the end of the year, they look forward to have the hand programmed to grasp and pick up an object.

Meanwhile, year 11 boarder Rhiannon Revell-Blair has been named City North New’s Junior Individual Sports Start at the recent Quest Local Sports Stars awards night held in Queensland Cricketer’s Club, The Gabba. She is currently awaiting the official decision on whether she will be included in the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens squad that will be undergoing training in New Zealand. She will be the co-captain of the St Margaret’s touch football team in 2018.

St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Ascot is an independent boarding school. It welcomes students from pre-preparatory level to Year 12. The school only accepts boys in pre-prep and prep.

Students listening to a lecture
Credit: St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School Facebook

Early this month, the school has introduced the basic of computer coding for its prep students as part of its focus on STEM education. Prep students use basic animation software in computer activities which are included in a weekly in-class programme on coding.

The school currently has 879 students of which 260 are primary students and 610 are girls in the secondary school. The boarding house has 170 boarders from Years 5 to 12.

Aside from its pastoral environment, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School has always been known for its focus on academic excellence, quality learning, and teaching. The school also takes pride in providing their students with a well-rounded exposure to experiences in and out of school that will help them gain a broad perspective of the world outside the school walls.

To know more about the school, click here.