St Leonard's College developed from a privately owned primary school established in 1914. It operated alongside St Leonard's Church, Brighton Beach, and later at 100 Were St, Brighton.
Having become St Leonard's Presbyterian Girls' College in 1946, continuous growth led to the move to 'Merton', at 163 South Rd, Brighton East late in 1954, during the time that Mrs Thelma Woolhouse was Principal.
Under the leadership of the Principal, Richard Cornish, the College adopted coeducation in 1972, and introduced the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
in 1982. The Cornish Campus at Patterson River was opened in 1987. The Cornish Campus was sold to the Uniting Church and became an independent school known as Cornish College on 16 December 2011.
St Leonard's College currently has an enrolment of approximately 1400 students. Mr Stuart Davis is the College's tenth principal.
In 2008, the College engaged the services of an historian to write the first definitive history of the College, from the ambiguities of its early years at the start of last century up to its current status as one of Melbourne’s leading schools - 'Head, Heart & Soul: A History of St Leonard's College' was produced by Jane Mayo Carolan.
The College Crest
The book is open, because you can’t learn from a closed book. The open book is breaking the chains of ignorance and illiteracy.
The chain represents the Patron Saint of Prisons, St Leonard our namesake.
Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - the beginning and the end.
The white cross is the Cross of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
The yellow cross is the cross of Christianity., coloured yellow to denote light, purity, power, youth, glory and splendour.
The white disciples represent the 12 disciples.
The blue background is Presbyterian Blue and was used as the school was a Presbyterian school before becoming a Uniting Church school.
The College Motto: Nulla Dies Sine Linea
Latin translation: “Never a day without a line - learn something new every day.”