Applicants can only appeal either test marks or school assessment scores if there is evidence to support the appeal. An appeal cannot be made on the same grounds as an illness/misadventure request.

Appeals must be submitted to the school principal by Friday 25 October 2019 and returned to the Team no later than Friday 1 November 2019. Late appeals cannot be accepted.

Grounds for an appeal

You may appeal against the decision of the selection committee if you know something specific happened to prevent your child from gaining higher school assessment scores or test scores (but not both) which might not have been considered by the selection committee.

All appeals must be supported by relevant documentary evidence supplied at the time of submitting the appeal form.

Not valid for an appeal

Appeals will generally not be considered valid if they are based on grounds that include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Matters which have or should have been dealt with as an illness/misadventure request straight after the test. These include:

  • difficult family circumstances and bereavements or other issues during Years 3 or 4 or in the period leading up to the test or on the test day
  • illness, injury, anxiety, fatigue or stress at the time of the test or during Year 4 at school
  • test centre problems such as disruptions during the test or suspected shorter time given for the test
  • suspected answer misalignments
  • anything voluntary and avoidable that stopped the child from sitting the test or doing his or her best in the test or gaining higher school assessment scores, such as participation in entertainment, sporting events, attendance at excursions, camps, or a holiday trip.

* Suspected problems with the teacher, for example extended teacher absences, or changes of teacher or school

* Disappointment in school assessment scores because they do not reflect the student’s efforts.

* The process used to determine academic merit, such as lack of school assessment scores which can be moderated or consideration of IQ results in the Interstate/overseas process

* Attempts by parents to re-calculate the placement score using raw test and school assessment scores. (It is not possible to calculate the placement score without access to the raw school and test scores of all applicants.)

* Lack of familiarity with the placement process, the English language, Australian culture and/or the NSW education system

* The student’s academic performance on the practice opportunity class placement tests on the Unit’s website or other measurements or reports, such as IQ score, NAPLAN results, ICAS testing, school reports or certificates and scholarship testing. Note: Unless the principal confirms that an error has been made by the school the only way an appeals panel can consider assessment scores provided by the student's school to be potentially compromised is where parents can provide documentary evidence that the school has consistently and deliberately undervalued the student's performance over a number of assessment situations.

* Academic performance before Year 4 or after June 2019

* Requests for a re-mark^ of the test or reconsideration of an application on the basis of parent or student expectation or disappointment at not receiving higher test marks, an offer or not being placed on a reserve list

* Young age of the student, lack of test preparation, educational disadvantage or failure of the student to complete one or more tests and/or the perceived failure of the student to demonstrate his/her potential

* Perceived advantage the student may gain from placement in an opportunity class, including travel convenience, attendance with friends/siblings, benefits to the family etc.

^Requests for re-marking are not considered grounds for appeal. Multiple-choice tests are computer marked by two separate companies. Any differences are reconciled.

Appeal process

Before submitting an appeal, ensure there are valid grounds and documentary evidence.

  • Download the Appeal form (available here for two weeks after the placement outcome information is released).
  • Complete the parents' section explaining the grounds for appeal and attach supporting documentation.
  • Submit the appeal to the student's current primary principal by the due date on the form. Residency appeals must be sent directly to the High Performing Students Team by the due date on the form.

Primary principals will complete the principals' section and send the appeal to the Team by the due date on the form.

Receipt of appeals will be acknowledged within 21 days. Contact the Team if you do receive acknowledgement after this time.

You will be notified whether or not your appeal is made on valid grounds and will be forwarded to the appeals panel for consideration.

Even where an appeal is well supported by evidence and is considered valid by appeals panels, an adjustment is not always possible as it depends on the components of the scores. Where the basis of an appeal is accepted by the Team but there is no possibility of adjustment the appeal may not be submitted to the appeals panel.

The outcome of appeals is sent to applicants in early December.

Appeals panels

Appeals panels meet in November to consider all valid appeals. The appeals panel will include:

  • a principal of a school with opportunity classes
  • a senior psychologist education, school psychologist or school counsellor
  • a parent representative
  • a principal of a selective high school
  • the director, business systems
  • a director, Educational Leadership (if available).

The appeals panel will consult with primary principals if necessary.

Residency appeals

Applicants for opportunity class placement must satisfy residency requirements. If extenuating circumstances apply applicants can appeal against residency requirements, for example by supplying written evidence a visa is about to be granted. Use the Residency appeal form.

Residency appeals must be received by the High Performing Students Team by the due date on the form.

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