St Clare's was established in 1971 as a systemic, coeducational, regional high school catering for students from Taree, Forster/Tuncurry, Wingham, Bulahdelah, Krambach/Nabiac and Gloucester parishes. It continues a tradition of quality secondary education in the Manning/Great Lakes Region which commenced in 1926, at Taree, by the Sisters of St Joseph.
The school has established a much recognised and acclaimed tradition for academic excellence with H.S.C graduates being sought after by employers and readily gaining apprenticeships, traineeships and cadetships as well as places in tertiary institutions. Throughout the 1990's 50-65% of the students in each HSC class have gained University placement. Graduates from St Clare's are to be found in leading positions in industry and commerce and have achieved the highest standards of excellence in tertiary education.