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 test results.

Entry to Year 5 in 2019

Parents of students enrolled in government and non-government primary schools can apply.

Age and Year

Students are normally in Year 4 at the time of application and were born after 31 December 2007 and before 31 July 2009. These students are aged between 9 years and 5 months and 11 years at the time they start Year 5.

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 2018 require the strong support of their principal to accelerate to Year 5 in an opportunity class in 2019. Selection committees will only consider students who have demonstrated advanced academic achievement across the curriculum. On a state-wide 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 seeking acceleration from Year 3 in 2018 to Year 5 in 2019 must gain a score which places them in the top half of the cohort of students offered placement in their school of choice.
  • Students already in Year 4 in 2018, but who were born after 31 July 2009 may have already been 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 and whether there are special requirements the school can provide.
  • Students already attending Year 5 in 2018 are generally not accepted for Year 5 opportunity class placement for 2019 except under extenuating circumstances. Detailed explanation and supporting documentation is required to be considered by selection committees. Selection committees have discretion not to place students who are currently in Year 5 and whose parents wish them to repeat Year 5 in an opportunity class in 2019.
  • Selection committees can decide not to accept students who have sat the test for a second time  and may have gained an unfair advantage from their previous experience with the test.

Bothers and sisters

As placement in an opportunity class is based on academic merit, you should not expect that if one of your children has been successful, the other children in your family will be placed. The placement of one twin/triplet does not guarantee the placement of another.

Brothers and sisters and twins/triplets will be offered a place in the same opportunity class if they have scores that are high enough to qualify.

Parents of students who are offered a place in an opportunity class cannot assume that younger or older siblings can also enrol as an out-of-area enrolment at that school.

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 but will not be offered a place in an opportunity class unless permanent residency has been granted.
  • 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 2019 school year. Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW after the 2019 school year begins will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.

Offers and enrolments will be taken away if the placement was based on false or misleading information.

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 or medical or behavioural condition

The selection committee will give special consideration to students with a disability or medical or behavioural condition 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 for entry in 2019 by submitting a completed a Change of school choices form to the Unit up to 10 August 2018.

You cannot change your school choices after 10 August  2018 unless something unexpected and outside your control changes and you have documentary evidence. Any request for a change of school choices must be approved by the Unit.

Changes of choice cannot normally be made after outcomes are released and you cannot transfer between primary schools with opportunity classes.

Where can I get further information?

The Unit updates information about opportunity class placement procedures regularly on this website.

The Unit’s telephone system also has current information about the placement process. Please check this website or Facebook page before contacting the Unit by email at ssu@det.nsw.edu.au or phone 1300 880 367 or fax (02) 9266 8435.

You will need to give the student application number and other identifying information when talking about a particular student. For email enquiries you should use the original email address used in the application.

Ask your child’s teacher if you want advice about whether or not your child might benefit from attending an opportunity class.

For regular updates on the placement process log into Facebook to access this link: https://www.facebook.com/Opportunityclassplacement

Translated information in 35 languages regarding the Opportunity Class Placement Test can be found at:

https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/going-to-a-public-school/translated-documents/opportunity-class-placement-test

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