Criteria for entry
1. Academic merit
Students must compete academically with all other candidates for entry to each selective high school. Generally 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 at the discretion of 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.
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.
2. Academic record
All applicants attending schools in NSW are required to have school assessment scores completed by the school principal.
Other supporting information (if relevant):
- information about disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder and their effects on the academic performance of students and special test provisions that may be required
- the results of individual IQ tests if appropriate. Note that these must be supported with a full IQ report
- supporting information where students are outside the normal age range.
- supporting information where students are in Year 5 or Year 7 in 2013.
Note: Applicants for the virtual selective class provision in Western NSW must attach the Virtual selective class: Report of academic merit.
As placement is based on academic merit, generally determined by a combination of the school assessment scores and the Selective High School Placement Test, you are not required to include any other attachments at the application stage.
When applying online, parents will receive an email which includes an attachments cover sheet. This cover sheet must accompany the attachments when they are sent directly to the Unit.
Do NOT send with your application attachments such as:
- school reports
- school-specific merit or behaviour certificates
- achievements in the performing arts or sports
- copies of the Basic Skills Tests or national testing
- certificates from statewide competitions.
Where further information is necessary the selection committee may approach the current primary school or request further information from parents.
3. Age and Year
Students entering Year 7 in selective high schools in 2014 will usually have been born between 1 January 2001 and 1 August 2002.
Students entering Year 7 in selective high schools in 2014 are normally in Year 6 in 2013.
Students not yet in Year 6 in 2013
Where students have not reached Year 6 in 2013 and are seeking to accelerate to Year 7 in 2014, this acceleration should 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 be guided by the 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?'
'On a state-wide basis, it is probable that only one in 200 (0.5%) students would be capable of acceleration in all subjects.'
Students already in Year 7 in 2013
Applications for students already attending Year 7 at high schools in NSW in 2013 are not normally accepted for Year 7 selective high school entry. Where there are extenuating circumstances strongly supported by the student's primary school, application may be made and full explanations with supporting documentation must be included. Selection committees will determine whether such applications will be accepted. Note that selection committees will not accept applications for repetition of Year 7 where it is clear that such repetition is not academically appropriate.
Parents are reminded that 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.
Australian citizenship and residency status
Candidates must normally 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 Citizenship website at: www.citizenship.gov.au. 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.
School principals are required to check claims of residential status and citizenship against school records.
Applicants who do not meet these residency requirements at the time of applying, but expect to meet them in the near future, are allowed to apply. Such applicants will have to show evidence that they meet all residency requirements before being offered a place. Applicants who are unable to meet the residency requirements but believe that there are extenuating circumstances applicable to their case may apply, provided that they are already living in Australia.
Applicants who qualify for entry on academic grounds but do not meet the residency requirements, including those who hold diplomatic visas, will be advised that their applications are on 'hold' pending clarification of their residency status. These applicants will then have the opportunity to appeal for special consideration through the appeals process.
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.
Parents must be living in NSW by the beginning of the 2014 school year. If parents normally live in NSW but are temporarily out of the state, they should expect to return in the near future. Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW after the 2014 school year begins will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.
5. Enrolment Policy
The NSW Department of Education and Communities 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 and Communities' enrolment policies and procedures.
Information for parents regarding enrolment is available at: http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/schoolfind/enrolment/parentsinfo.php
To finalise enrolment at a selective high school you must have:
- received an Authority to attend from the Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Unit
- satisfied all NSW Department of Education and Communities enrolment requirements.
Offers or enrolments will be terminated if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.