Information for applicants

Students are offered placement in opportunity classes based on academic merit.

A selection committee is convened for each school with an opportunity class. It is made up of at least two people – the school principal and a district guidance officer or school counsellor. All selection committees use the same criteria but each school makes its decisions independently.

Placement is determined through:

Interstate or overseas applicants must submit a report of academic merit if they cannot sit the Opportunity Class Placement Test.

The selection committee may contact the current primary school or request other evidence of academic merit. Unless requested do not send any additional documentation such as school reports, merit certificates, NAPLAN or other results and so on.

Entry to Year 5 in 2018

Age and Year

Students will usually have been born between 31 December 2006 and 31 July 2008 and are normally in Year 4 in 2017 to enter an opportunity class for Year 5 in 2018.

Applications may be temporarily placed on hold for students whose age or school year is outside the limits described above to allow the selection committee to investigate further. Selection committees will consider each case individually and will contact parents or the current school principal if further information is required.

  • Students who have not reached Year 4 in 2017 require the strong support of their principal to accelerate to Year 5 in an opportunity class in 2018. Selection committees will only consider students who have demonstrated advanced academic achievement across the curriculum. On a statewide basis only one in 200 or .5% of students would generally be capable of acceleration in all subjects to be successful in an opportunity class.
  • Students already in Year 4 in 2017, but who were born after 31 July 2008 may have already accelerated. Such students may be required to attend an interview with the selection committee as part of the process to determine suitability for opportunity class placement.
  • Students already attending Year 5 in 2017 are only accepted for Year 5 opportunity class placement for 2018 under extenuating circumstances. Detailed explanation and supporting documentation is required to be considered by selection committees.

Residency requirements

Generally candidates must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Information on Australian citizenship is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

  • Applicants who do not meet residency requirements at the time of applying – but expect to meet them before mid October when initial offers are made – can sit the Opportunity Class Placement Test.
  • Applicants must show evidence of residency requirements prior to being offered a place.
  • Applicants who do not meet the residency requirements – including those who hold diplomatic visas – but who qualify for entry on academic grounds, can appeal if extenuating circumstances apply.
  • Citizens of New Zealand living in New South Wales are eligible for opportunity class entry. Permanent residents of New Zealand are not.

School principals are required to check claims of residential status and citizenship against school records. All successful applicants will be required to show original documentation, such as a birth certificate, Australian Citizenship certificate or visa, before enrolment can be finalised by the school.

Find more information about interstate and overseas applications.

Residential address

A student's family must be living in NSW by the beginning of the 2018 school year. Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW after the 2018 school year begins will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.

Special considerations

The selection committee may provide special consideration under certain circumstances.

Cultural background

The selection committee will give special consideration to students who may have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit such as:

  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students
  • culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students who have been using the English language to do most of their school work for less than 4 years.

Disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder

The selection committee will give special consideration to students with a disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder if they have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit. Students may also apply for special provisions for the Opportunity Class Placement Test.

Note: Staff at test centres are not trained in first aid or the administration of lifesaving medication such as Epipens and Anapens. Therefore parents must disclose information about medical conditions and medication prior to the Opportunity Class Placement Test. Parents may be required to wait at the test centre during the test to administer medication if necessary.

Choosing a school

Consider carefully the school choices and the order of school choices when you are choosing an opportunity class. You can change choices up to 4 August for entry in 2018. Changes of choice cannot normally be made after outcomes are released.

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