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  • Academic Merit

    Students must compete academically with other candidates for opportunity class placement. Academic merit is considered mainly by the combination of the results of the Opportunity Class Placement Test in English language, mathematics and general ability together with the primary school assessments of student performance in English and mathematics.

    Academic Record

    All candidates attending schools in NSW are required to have school assessment scores completed by the school principal. Where a NSW non-government school does not provide school assessment scores the parent should attach a letter of explanation to the application. Applications without assessment scores and without an acceptable reason for not having school assessment scores may not qualify for placement.

    You must send copies of the following supporting documents to the Unit if any of these apply to your child:

    • information about a disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder such as serious vision impairment, diabetes or autism. If you believe your child needs special test provisions, you will need to provide diagnostic evidence. Further information can be found at Test information
    • copy of court orders, if they relate to the child's education
    • explanation of why the child is older or younger than the usual range, or not in Year 4 in 2016
    • for interstate/overseas students, full WISC IV IQ report and standardised Reading and mathematics test results are required as part of a Report of academic merit.

    If your child has an individual IQ report you may also provide it as further evidence of academic merit.

    Do NOT send with your application:

    • school-specific merit or behaviour certificates
    • achievements in the performing arts or sports
    • copies of the NAPLAN Tests
    • certificates from statewide competitions.

    Where further information is necessary the selection committees may approach the current primary school or request further information from parents.

  • Other considerations

    Selection committees may give special consideration to students who fall into one of the following groups.

  • Disability, Medical Condition or Behavioural Disorder

    The selection committee will give special consideration to students with a disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder to determine whether they have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit.

  • Cultural Background

    The selection committee will give special consideration to Aboriginal students or students with a language background other than English who have been doing most school work in English for less than four years. This consideration will determine whether they have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit.

  • Age and School Year

    Students qualifying for Year 5 opportunity class placement in 2017 will usually be born after 31 December 2005 and before 31 July 2007 and are normally in Year 4 in 2016.

    Where students have not reached Year 4 in 2016 and are seeking to accelerate to Year 5 in 2017, this acceleration should be strongly supported by the principal. The selection committee will contact you or the principal if further information is required. In determining a student's suitability for accelerated progression to a primary school with an opportunity class, selection committees will be guided by the  Policy and Implementation Strategies for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students. (Revised 2004).

    Further criteria for accelerated progression are outlined in Guidelines for Accelerated Progression, published by the Board of Studies. This document states on page 21:

    "Has the student demonstrated a comprehensive achievement well in advance of the enrolment cohort when performance is assessed against the outcomes for the current curriculum stage?" AND " On a state-wide basis, it is probable that only one in 200 (0.5%) students would be capable of acceleration in all subjects."

    Parents are reminded that selection committees may also consider whether or not students who took the Opportunity Class Placement Test in 2015 have gained undue advantage from their previous experience with the test.

    Where students are already in Year 4, but were born after 31 July 2007, they have, under normal circumstances, already been accelerated in a previous year. Such students may be required to attend an interview to assess their needs. Your child's principal will need to confirm that official acceleration has occurred.

    Applications for students already attending Year 5 at primary schools in NSW in 2016 are not normally accepted for Year 5 opportunity class entry in 2017 unless there are extenuating circumstances, e.g. the student is very young. In such circumstances, parents should provide a detailed explanation and supporting documentation.

    Selection committees will decide whether such applications will be accepted. Please note that selection committees will generally not accept applications for repetition of Year 5 where it is clear that such repetition is not academically appropriate.

    Applications for students whose age or school year is outside the limits described above may not be finalised at the same time as the applications of other candidates. These applications may be placed temporarily on 'hold' to allow the selection committees to complete further enquiries.

  • Australian Citizenship and Residency Status

    Candidates must be Australian citizens or holders of a visa granting permanent resident status in Australia. Information on Australian citizenship is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website at: Official evidence of Australian citizenship may be obtained by the issue of a Certificate of evidence of Australian citizenship.

    Citizens of New Zealand are also eligible for opportunity class entry. Permanent residents of New Zealand, like temporary residents of Australia, are not.
    School principals are required to check claims of residential status and citizenship against school records.
    Students who do not meet these residency requirements at the time of applying, but expect to meet them in the near future, will be allowed to take the Opportunity Class Placement Test. Parents will have to show evidence that the student meets all residency requirements before being offered a place. Applicants who are unable to meet the residency requirements, including those who hold diplomatic visas, will be advised in October that their applications are unsuccessful. In extenuating circumstances these applicants may have the opportunity to appeal for special consideration through the appeals process.
    All successful candidates will be required to show original documentation such as certificates of evidence of Australian citizenship, birth certificates or visas before enrolment can be finalised by the school. Offers of enrolment will be terminated if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.

    Residential Address

    Parents must be living in NSW by the beginning of the 2017 school year. If parents normally live in NSW but are temporarily out of the state, they should expect to return before the school year starts. Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.