New selective high school placement dashboard goes live

A new-look performance report and application dashboard gives parents a passport to place their children in NSW selective high schools in 2023.

Image: A new performance report and equity model is a boost for selective high school placement.

Parents this week will know whether their child has been successful in gaining a place in a NSW selective high school through a new look Performance Report and application dashboard.

From 5pm on Friday, 19 August, parents will receive an email to notify them when the placement outcome for their child is available to view in the application portal.

The application dashboard will provide parents with the outcome of the application while the performance report will reveal how their child has performed in the test.

If a student has qualified for an offer or has been placed on a reserve list, one of four possible outcomes will be indicated in the application dashboard.

The new system of advising parents of their child’s performance in the selective school tests – held in March - provides a better understanding of their child’s performance in comparison to other students who sat the test in the same year. 

For each of the test components, the report shows where your child performed in one of four bands:

· top 10% of candidates

· next 15% of candidates

· next 25% of candidates

· lowest 50% of candidates

The Performance report does not show the percentage of correct answers a child has achieved for any of the test components, but rather how many other students performed within the same range.

The new method of providing the outcome of selective high school placement is consistent with how test results are reported for NAPLAN and follows consultations across the state with community members across a range of socio-economic backgrounds. 

Community members, who participated in the consultations, were satisfied with the new report as the visual aspect of the dashboard made it easier for them to identify how their child performed in the test.

Another change in the placement process for selective high schools – and opportunity classes - will see a maximum of 20 per cent reserved for students from four under-represented equity groups, that is, students from low socio-educational communities, Aboriginal students, students from rural and regional areas and students with a disability.

Students who are eligible for placement in 2023 under this new Equity Placement Model are still required to sit the selection test and are required to meet a similar academic standard (generally within 10 per cent of other successful entrants).

Principals of selective high schools consistently report that the students who enter the schools on the lowest scores are very rarely the students to leave the school with the lowest ATAR.

The new Equity Placement Model was introduced after a 2018 review of access to opportunity classes and selective high schools found that groups of high potential and gifted students (mentioned above) were missing out on places.

Under the previous placement processes, parents were advised that the selection committee consider a number of factors regarding “disadvantage” for which scoring adjustments were made.

They included:

· how many students to place on reserve lists

· the likely impact of any disability and reasonable adjustments on test performance

· illness/misadventure requests

· whether to accept late applications

· giving priority to isolated students who apply for boarding at agricultural high schools

· reasons for students being outside the usual age range or school year

· students of Aboriginal background or students who have been educated in English for less than 48 months

· other evidence of academic merit, if necessary

· students to be listed for offers and reserve places according to the number of vacancies at the school.

Scoring adjustments were automatically applied to students of Aboriginal background and students who have been educated in English for less than 48 months (The General Abilities / Thinking skills test score was ignored from the overall placement score if it was lower than the student’s average in other test components).

Under the new equity placement model, most decisions are automated and selection committees do not make any adjustments to scores.

Parents are able to appeal the outcome of the placement test but must do so within 5 working days. There are limited grounds for an appeal or for requesting a results enquiry. For further information please visit Result enquiry and appeals.

For further information on the Equity Placement Model, the Review of Selective Education Access and the placement Outcome information, please visit the department’s website.

Fact sheets translated into a number of community languages will also be available on the changes.

For more than 15 years, the department has had targeted places available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Alexandria Park CS, Tempe HS and Rose Bay Secondary College.

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