Addressing selection criteria

The following guidelines refer to the required format and length of an application to address the selection criteria for classroom teacher, executive and principal open merit positions.

The new guidelines have been introduced to address consistent feedback received from a range of stakeholders including principal groups and the NSW Teachers Federation regarding the application component of the merit process. In particular, the feedback was consistent that many applicants were submitting excessively long applications that did not add value to the process and was unnecessarily time consuming and onerous for both applicants and panels.

All other aspects of the current merit selection process, including panel composition, the development of specific selection criteria, shortlisting and interviews remain unchanged.

The new merit selection application guidelines apply for any new positions advertised from 10 June 2020. Positions advertised prior to this date are not subject to the new requirements.

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Application tips

  • Applicants should make a professional judgement about the way they address each selection criteria and how they present their application, within the guideline requirements. Applicants are encouraged to present information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Applicants need to have a clear understanding of the skills, knowledge and experiences required in the role for which they are applying. Applicants must demonstrate their capacity to perform the duties for the relevant position and show evidence of having projected themselves into the role.
  • It is recommended that applicants choose no more than three significant examples for each criterion to provide the best evidence of how their skills knowledge and experiences fulfil the requirements of the criterion.
  • Applicants should address each criterion clearly and unambiguously to emphasise the work undertaken and the outcomes achieved.
  • The page limit applies only to the addressing of the general and specific selection criteria. If the applicant wishes to also attach an additional document listing employment history, referee details etc, or a cover letter, they may do so and this would not count towards the page limit described in the guidelines. However, this is not a requirement and these details can be entered directly into the applicant’s IworkforNSW (TALEO) profile.
  • Applications should be written in a minimum of 10 point font. There are no restrictions to the font style – applicants should use professional judgement, taking into account the overall readability of the application.
  • General advice on formatting, content and style can be found in the department’s online style guide.
  • If applicants have questions about their applications, they should contact the panel convener.
  • Applicants are encouraged to share their application with their principal, supervisor and other referees for feedback and advice.

Classroom teacher positions

The selection criteria for classroom teacher positions will consist of Specific Selection Criteria for the vacant position. Applicants for classroom teacher positions must address all the specific selection criteria for the position in their applicant.

The selection panel will determine the specific selection criteria for the vacant position. Specific selection criteria are necessary to ensure that the applicant is able to undertake the responsibilities of the particular position.


Executive positions (Assistant Principal, Head Teacher, Deputy Principal)

The selection criteria for executive positions will consist of the:

  • general selection criteria for the position
  • specific selection criteria for the position.

Applicants for executive positions must address all the general selection and specific selection criteria in their application.

Applicants need to articulate clearly and concisely their skills, knowledge and experiences in response to each of the criteria.



Principal positions

The selection criteria for Principal positions will consist of the:

  • general selection criteria for the position, and
  • specific selection criteria for the position.

Applicants for Principal positions must address both the general selection criteria and the specific selection criteria for the position in their application.

Applicants need to articulate clearly and concisely their skills, knowledge and experiences in response to each of the criteria.

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