This policy is current as at 15/12/2017 11:30am, AEDT. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Selective High School and Opportunity Class Placement Policy

Requirements for placement in NSW government selective classes, selective high schools, agricultural high schools and opportunity classes; criteria for entry and the selection processes for gifted and talented students.

1. Objectives - Policy statement

1.1

The Department of Education is committed to ensuring the equitable placement based on academic merit of students in selective high schools (including fully selective, partially selective, virtual and agricultural high schools) and in opportunity classes.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

This policy applies to relevant Department of Education staff.

3. Context

3.1

The NSW public school system is committed to high quality educational outcomes for all gifted and talented students. Selective high schools and opportunity classes are within the range of provisions for the education of gifted and talented students.

3.2

While special academic and residency criteria apply for selective high school and opportunity class entry, enrolment in these classes or schools is subject to the Enrolment of Students in New South Wales Government Schools: A Summary and Consolidation of policy.

3.3

Selective high schools and opportunity classes and the number of initial vacancies are established at the direction of the Deputy Secretary, Education. Variations to the number of vacancies in later years of placement are at the discretion of the relevant Director, Public Schools NSW.

3.4

Students are placed in selective high schools and opportunity classes based on academic merit. Academic merit is mainly determined by the combination of the results of the Selective High School Placement Test or the Opportunity Class Placement Test (both hereinafter referred to as ‘placement tests’) together with 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.

3.5

Selective high schools and opportunity classes cater for highly-achieving, academically gifted and talented students who may otherwise be isolated from a suitable academic peer group. These schools can provide intellectual stimulation by grouping academically gifted and talented students together, concentrating school resources and using specialised teaching methods.

3.6

Partially selective high schools have both selective and non-selective classes. Selective and opportunity classes may exist in a virtual form where isolation factors make it the most appropriate option. Agricultural high schools are selective high schools which emphasise the study of agriculture. Agricultural high schools with boarder places give some priority to isolated students.

3.7

The High Performing Students Unit administers the state wide placement of Year 7 students in selective high schools and Year 5 students in opportunity classes and provides guidelines and documentation to selective high schools for Years 8 to 12 placement processes.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1 Directors, Public Schools NSW:

4.1.1

may participate in selection committees at their discretion and may be requested to chair appeals panels on a voluntary basis.

4.2 High school principals:

4.2.1

make facilities available as test centres for placement tests as required.

4.3 Selective high school principals:

4.3.1

promote the availability of online applications and application information and distribute relevant paper materials to the public as required.

4.3.2

chair selection committee meetings for their own schools and participate in appeals panels where appropriate.

4.3.3

coordinate personnel for selection committees for their school.

4.4 Primary school principals:

4.4.1

ensure that they do not schedule school activities that may prevent students from taking the placement tests.

4.4.2

promote online applications, distribute relevant paper materials to their own students and inform parents of relevant dates.

4.4.3

incorporate into their school assessment procedures the provision for awarding school assessment scores for selective high school and opportunity class entry and provide these scores as part of the application process.

4.4.4

check all information provided in the application for accuracy.

4.5 Principals of primary schools with opportunity classes:

4.5.1

promote the availability of online applications and application information and distribute relevant paper materials to the public as required.

4.5.2

chair selection committee meetings for their own schools and participate in appeals panels where appropriate.

4.5.3

coordinate personnel for selection committees for their school.

4.6 Selection committees convened for each opportunity class and selective high school:

4.6.1

determine final placement.

4.6.2

give special consideration to students from non-English speaking backgrounds who have been doing most of their school work in English for less than four years and students of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.

4.6.3

consider students through either the interstate/overseas or the illness/misadventure procedures if they are currently residing interstate or overseas and unable to take the placement tests.

4.7 Appeals panels

4.7.1

Appeals panels determine the outcome of appeals. All claims for consideration based on illness must be made with l4 days of the tests. Appeals based on illness will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

5.1

The Director, Business Systems will monitor this policy and will report annually, or as required, to the Executive Director, Learning and Business Systems.

6. Contact

Director, Business Systems (02) 9244 5058.

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