Selective High Schools Year 7 Placement


Contact Details

High Performing Students Unit Postal address: Locked Bag 53, DARLINGHURST NSW 1300
Phone: 1300 880 367                  Fax: 02 9266 8435


Criteria for entry

1. Academic merit

Students must compete academically with all other candidates for entry to each selective high school. Academic merit is determined mainly by the combination of the results of the Selective High School Placement Test in reading, writing, mathematics and general ability, together with the primary school assessments of student performance in English and mathematics.

Additional evidence of academic merit may also be considered if requested by the selection committee.

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.

Note: Staff at the test centre are not trained in first aid or the administration of life-saving medication such as Epipens and Anapens so parents must disclose information about medical conditions and medication to the Unit well before the test. Parents may be required to wait at the test centre during the test to administer medication if necessary.

Cultural background

The selection committee will give special consideration to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students and students with a language background other than English who have been doing most school work in the English language for less than four years.

2. Academic record

All applicants attending schools in NSW are required to have school assessment scores completed by the school principal. These scores show the student's achievement on the school curriculum.

A Report of academic merit is required for interstate or overseas applications who do not have school assessment scores.

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

Unless you are asked to, do not send attachments such as:

  • school reports
  • merit certificates
  • evidence of achievements in the performing arts or sports
  • copies of state or national tests such as NAPLAN
  • certificates from statewide competitions.

3. Age and Year


Students entering Year 7 in selective high schools in 2017 will usually have been born between 1 January 2004 and 1 August 2005.

School Year

Students entering Year 7 in selective high schools in 2017 are normally in Year 6 in 2016.

Students not yet in Year 6 in 2016

Where students have not reached Year 6 in 2016 and are seeking to accelerate to Year 7 in 2017, this acceleration must be strongly supported by the school principal.

In determining a student's suitability for accelerated progression to a selective high school, selection committees will be guided by the Policy and Implementation Strategies for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students (Revised 2004).  

Selection committees will also consider whether the student demonstrated achievement well in advance of the enrolment cohort when their performance is assessed against the outcomes for the current stage of the curriculum. On a state-wide basis, it is likely that only one in 200 (0.5%) students would be capable of acceleration in all subjects.

Students already in Year 7 in 2016

Applications for students already attending Year 7 at high schools in NSW in 2016 are not normally accepted for Year 7 selective high school entry. Where there are extenuating circumstances strongly supported by the student's school, parents can apply but must provide a full explanation with supporting documentation. Selection committees will determine whether such applications will be accepted. 

Selection committees may also consider whether or not students who took the Selective High School Placement Test in the previous year have gained undue advantage from their previous experience with the test.

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 committee to complete further enquiries.

4. Residency

Australian citizenship and residency status

Candidates must generally 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 living in New South Wales are eligible for selective high school entry. Permanent residents of New Zealand are treated in the same manner as temporary residents of Australia and are not eligible.

Applicants who do not meet these residency requirements at the time of applying, but expect to meet them before early July when initial offers are made, are allowed to apply provided they are already living in Australia. Such applicants will have to show evidence that they meet all residency requirements before being offered a place.  

Applicants who qualify for entry on academic grounds but do not meet the residency requirements, including those who hold diplomatic visas, will then have the opportunity to appeal for special consideration through the appeals process if extenuating circumstances apply.

School principals are required to check claims of residential status and citizenship against school records.

All successful applicants will be required to show original documentation, such as a Certificate of Evidence of Australian Citizenship, birth certificates or visas, before enrolment can be finalised by the school.

Residential address

The family 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 must return before the student is enrolled in a selective high school. Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW after the 2017 school year begins will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.

5. Family placement

As entry to selective high schools is based on academic merit, you should not expect that if one of your children has been successful, the other children in your family will be placed. The placement of one twin or sibling does not guarantee the placement of another.

For boarder placement only, extra consideration may be given to students who have a brother or sister already attending the school.

6. Enrolment Policy

The NSW Department of Education has a responsibility to assess and manage any risk of harm to its staff or students. This includes assessing and managing risks posed to students or staff at a school by any student. Where relevant such situations will be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Education enrolment policies and procedures.

Information for parents regarding enrolment is available at:

To finalise enrolment at a selective high school you must have:

  1. received an Authority to attend from the High Performing Students Unit
  2. satisfied all NSW Department of Education enrolment requirements.

Offers or enrolments will be terminated if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.


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