Application process

Applications for opportunity class entry are completed online.

Application for Year 5 placement in an opportunity class in 2019 opened on Tuesday 1 May 2018 and closed on Friday 18 May 2018.

Late applications are not accepted. Closing dates for applications are strictly observed. The placement program operates on a very tight schedule and involves the use of external contractors who cannot accommodate late additions to the candidature for testing. There can be no exceptions made on compassionate grounds. The only circumstances under which a late application can be considered are:

  • where parents are applying for placement of their children in rural and remote areas where there is a shortage of suitable candidates. The choices are locked for these applicants and they cannot be considered for placement at any other opportunity classes even if they move their residence.
  • where both parents/carers have documentary evidence to support a claim that circumstances beyond their control prevented them from completing an application that takes a maximum of 20 minutes to complete and is available 24 hours a day on any internet enabled device during the application period.

Applicants complete the following steps to apply for Year 5 opportunity class entry.  Read Information about applying for Year 5 entry to an opportunity class in 2019 (PDF 477 KB) prior to submitting an application.

Steps

  1. Public school applicants may be asked to complete an 'Intention to apply' form by the current primary school so the school knows who intends to apply.
  2. Go to the OC application for 2019 entry– available here from Tuesday 1 May 2018 to 18 May 2018 and follow instructions for registration.
    • Parents must register prior to applying by providing a valid email address – do not use a student's email address.
    • You will receive an email with your password for the online application.
    • A step by step guide on how to complete the application online is available here.
  3. Return to the application and log in using your email address and password. If you lose the password, go to Login and log in using your email address and click on 'Forgotten password' to get a new email. Earlier passwords will be deleted.
  4. Complete your contact details. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) must be completed prior to proceeding to the next page by selecting 'Next'. To return to the previous page click the 'Previous' button.
  5. When your contact details are complete, click the 'Next' button.
  6. Follow the steps on each page to complete the opportunity class placement application.
  7. Enter information about any special test provisions, if required.
  8. To leave the application before it is finished select 'Log off' and close your browser. You will need to log in again when you return.
  9. When you have completed your application click 'Submit'. Make a note of the student application number in the format C18 123 456 shown on the screen. You must quote this number whenever you enquire about the application.
  10. Receive an automatically generated email confirming that you have successfully submitted an application. Check the attachments to the email to confirm all details are correct.

Confirmation

After submitting your application you will receive a confirmation email with:

  • a copy of the application including a student application number - include this number on all communication with the Unit
  • an 'attachments cover sheet' to use if sending additional documentation
  • a Principal's page for provision of school assessment scores for non-government school principals to complete

Note: Some email providers will not accept emails with attachments sent from the Unit. If this happens the Unit will have to send all correspondence by mail. To avoid this problem add ssu@det.nsw.edu.au to your email contacts to ensure you receive correspondence from the High Performing Students Unit. Also check your spam or junk folder regularly.

Changes to the application

Changes cannot be made to applications online once submitted. Parents are responsible for ensuring that the information in their application is up to date. If you find you have made a mistake or need to change details after you submitted your application, email the Unit a completed Change of personal details form (PDF 32KB). The Unit will usually acknowledge by email or post any change request when it is processed.

Do not apply twice for the same student, as the selection committee can consider only one application for each student.

Applicants can choose up to two opportunity classes. Choose the opportunity class and the order of the classes carefully and list only those schools you would like your child to attend and in your preferred order. You can change your school choices for entry in 2019 until Friday 10 August 2018 by sending a completed Change of school choices form (PDF 150KB) to the Unit.

Changes of choice cannot normally be made after outcomes are released. After the outcome is released you cannot change the school choice on the basis that the student could have qualified for a different school.

Applying without internet access

Use the internet at a public library if you do not have access at home and complete the following steps:

  1. Set up a web-based email to use for the application, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or similar.
  2. Use that email account to register at 'opportunity class  placement application'.
  3. Wait to receive an email with a password and link.
  4. Copy and paste the password to log in.
  5. Complete the application and, in the Contact details section, click on 'Mail only'  for all future correspondence.
  6. Submit the application.
  7. Check your new email account for the confirmation email and print the file showing all your application details. Check the email spam/junk folder as well as the inbox.

The Unit will then send all communication to your postal address.

Note: Where parents request contact by mail, as the Unit mails letters at the same time as emails are sent, posted mail will take longer for delivery.

Contact the High Performing Students Unit for assistance if you have a disability that prevents you from using a computer.

Additional documents

If any of the following situations apply to your child, and if you have not already done so, you need to send copies of the following supporting documents to the Unit:

  • information about a disability or a medical or behavioural condition such as serious vision impairment, diabetes, anaphylaxis, autism or serious illness. If you believe your child needs special provisions, you will need to provide diagnostic evidence.
  • copy of court orders if they relate to this child’s education
  • explanation of why the child is older or younger than the usual age range or not in Year 4 when applying.
  • for interstate/overseas students – full WISC V IQ report  with a reliable Full Scale IQ Score and standardised reading and mathematics test results required as part of a Report of academic merit.

If requested, you may also need to supply:

  • for students who have been doing most school work in the English language for less than 48 months, evidence of previous schooling
  • for students without reliable school assessment scores or Opportunity Class Placement Test results, a reliable full scale IQ report (WISC V preferred).

Use the attachments cover sheet you are emailed with your application confirmation when sending attachments to the Unit. Do not send schools reports or certificates or other test results unless asked to do so by the Unit.

Parent details

Where parents live together at the same address as the student

Wherever possible, parents should provide two email addresses and contact the Unit to update their child’s record every time there is a change to any of their contact details. It is the parent’s responsibility to use email addresses that do not belong to a child. The Unit will not correspond with students. Any email suspected of belonging to a child will be disabled and then all correspondence might have to be sent by mail. The names of both parents should be recorded on the application if the second parent is likely to contact the Unit or to make independent placement decisions on behalf of the child.

Where parents live apart at different addresses

Duplicate applications for the same student will not be processed. The parent who makes the application should live at the address where the student lives most of the time. If the other parent is entitled to educational information about the student the parent may contact the Unit and request duplicate system generated correspondence, if required. Where students live with both parents for equal time the parent with whom the student is living at the time should make the application.

The Unit will not participate in parental disputes and will accept decisions about school choices and placement made by the parent with whom the student is living most of the time, unless there are specific court orders stating otherwise.

Where parents cannot reach agreement, the matter will be dealt with according to the Department’s guidelines for dealing with family law related issues. For more information please refer to https://education.nsw.gov.au/media/legal/familylawguidelines.pdf .

Court orders

Tick the relevant box for 'Court orders' on the application if there are any family law, apprehended violence orders or other relevant court orders in relation to such matters as the education of the student, the parental responsibility for the student, the student's main residence, restricting access to the student's record or restricting the provision of information about the student. Scan and send a complete copy of the orders to the Unit.

The Unit will give information to anyone legally entitled to it.

Who can make enquiries or decisions about your application?

The Unit corresponds with the parents or carers that you list on the application. If you wish to let other people discuss your child’s application with the Unit, you must write to the Unit authorising them to make enquiries or decisions on your behalf.

The Unit will provide information about an application to any parent or interested person who is legally entitled to it, regardless of requests for confidentiality. The Unit will not correspond with students or speak to them on the telephone.

School assessment scores

Public school principals provide school assessment scores online in English and mathematics based on a student's performance in Year 4 up to the beginning of June as long as:

  • the parent applied before the closing date
  • the student has been at the school long enough to be assessed.

Principals may also comment on issues relevant to the application.

Non-government primary school principals are asked to complete the Principal's page for provision of school assessment scores form. This  form is emailed to you as soon as you submit your application online and must be returned to the High Performing Students Unit by Friday 8 June 2018.

Non-government school applicants

NSW non-government school applicants complete the online application form. Applicants indicate whether they consent for the current school principal to be consulted about matters such as school assessment scores or special test provisions.

Non-government schools submit a student's school assessment scores on the Principal's page for provision of school assessment scores sent with the email confirming submission of the application.

  • Give the non-government school principal a copy of the application confirmation and the Principal's page for submission of school assessment scores. Ask the principal to provide scores for English and mathematics, sign and stamp the form and return it to the High Performing Students Unit by Friday 8 June 2018 (for 2019 entry).
  • If the school is unwilling to provide assessment scores, ask the principal to indicate this, sign and stamp the declaration and return it to the Unit. If the principal is unwilling to sign the form, send a written explanation to the Unit and attach supporting evidence. Applications without assessment scores and without an acceptable reason may not qualify for placement.
  • If the principal does not wish to send the page to the Unit, the parent must do so.

The Unit will send a notice to parents when the principal's page has been received and processed by the Unit.

However, it is not possible at the application stage for the Unit to check whether or not school assessment scores have been provided on that page. It is the parents' responsibility to check with their child's school whether or not the principal has provided school assessment scores. The Unit will advise parents only if school assessment scores have been provided for all other candidates except their child. Parents can then follow up with the school. Selection committees may choose not to accept candidates for whom the principal's page has not been provided to the Unit.

Interstate and overseas applicants

Students temporarily living interstate or overseas who are unable to sit the Opportunity Class Placement Test may still apply for Year 5 placement in a NSW opportunity class. Applications will be considered by the selection committee through the interstate and overseas procedure or the illness/misadventure procedure (if the child has school assessment scores from Year 4).

If possible, your child should return to NSW to sit the test.

Interstate or overseas students who are able to return to NSW to sit the test do not need to submit a report of academic merit. Interstate or overseas students do not submit school assessment scores unless they attended a NSW school for Year 4.

Applicants using the interstate or overseas applicant process can be considered only if they provide a reliable WISC V Full Scale IQ Score along with the other required information. No other IQ score such as the general ability index can be considered as only Full Scale IQ Scores have been used to derive the most likely equivalent placement score.

You must apply online by the due date but if the IQ test results are not available at the time you can send the Report of academic merit to reach the Unit before the test date of Wednesday 1 August 2018.

If you are living outside NSW temporarily and your child was in Year 4 in NSW, the illness/misadventure process could apply to you. Find out more at https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes/year-5/the-test#Illness5 .

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