Best Schools are the selective ones that go on merit - but asian families hire coaches 7 * 24 to get their kids in - sad really!
I attend Hornsby Girls' H.S. and 38 out of the 120 students in my year are not asian; all of my friends in save three in my group of 19 were coached to get in; out of those 19, 6 had to continue their coaching to be able to keep up with the work we were doing.
It's sad that coaching exists - that's my view anyway.
Private schools are probably best for a child who needs good facilities to be able to enjoy learning. If they are interested in filming, drama, music, the arts, sports etc. then a private school can provide the best facilities for them. If they are interested in playing in a band then most public schools do have very good bands and tend to participate in more competitions with other schools than private schools do.
If you'd prefer a school where students focus more on the core subjects and can learn at their own speed, you'd want to look for one with streaming within the grades and subjects. Most schools now stream their maths classes starting in years 8 and 9, but only some stream their science, history or geography classes.
driving from cherrybrook to north ryde can take between 15 and 20 minutes depending on the traffic.