Information for applicants
Students are offered placement in selective schools based on academic merit and the order of school choices.
A selection committee is convened for each selective high school. Placement at each selective high school is made by that school's selection committee.
Academic merit is determined on the basis of:
- reading, writing, mathematics and general ability results of the Selective High School Placement Test
- primary school assessments in English and mathematics.
The selection committees may contact the current primary school or request other evidence of academic merit. Unless requested, do not send other documentation such as school reports, merit certificates, NAPLAN or other test results.
Download a printable version of the Year 7 entry to selective high schools information about applying (PDF 303KB) and read it carefully prior to submitting an application.
Age and Year
Students will usually have been born between 1 January 2006 and 1 August 2007 to enter Year 7 in selective high schools in 2019.
Students applying to enter Year 7 in 2019 should be in Year 6 in 2018. If not, parents should email the Unit to explain the reasons.
Students not yet in Year 5 in 2017
Students who are not yet in Year 5 in 2017 but are seeking to accelerate to Year 7 in 2019 must be strongly supported by their school principal.
Selection committees will only consider students who have demonstrated advanced achievement across the school curriculum. On a statewide basis only one in 200 or .5% of students would generally be capable of acceleration in all subjects.
Year 7 students in 2018
Only under extenuating circumstances will applications for students already in Year 7 at the time of the test be considered for placement in Year 7 the following year. A full explanation, supporting documentation and the principal's support for the repetition are required. Selection committees will determine whether such applications will be accepted.
Selection committees may also consider whether students who took the Selective High School Placement Test in the previous year have gained an undue advantage from their previous experience with the test.
Brothers and sisters
Entry to selective high schools is based on individual 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 does not guarantee the placement of another. Brothers and sisters and twins will be offered a place at the same selective school only if they both qualify. Parents of students who are offered a place in a partially selective high school cannot assume that siblings can also enrol as out-of-area enrolment without being accepted by the school.
Boarder agricultural high schools may take into account whether another family member currently attends the school.
A student's family must be living in NSW by the beginning of the school year of entry.
A student must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or a New Zealand citizen to be able to enrol in a selective high school. Information on Australian citizenship is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
- Applicants who do not meet residency requirements may apply if they expect to meet them before early July when initial offers are made.
- Applicants must show evidence of residency requirements being met before they can be 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.
School principals are required to check claims of residency 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 permanent residency visa, before enrolment can be finalised by the school.
Offers and enrolments will be taken away if the placement was based on false or misleading information.
Applications from parents who continue to live outside NSW after the school year begins will be considered only if there are vacancies after all suitable applicants from NSW have been placed.
Overseas and interstate applicants
You can apply while you are temporarily overseas or interstate. If possible, your child should return to NSW to sit the test. Find out more about the overseas and interstate process.
The selection committees may provide special consideration under certain circumstances.
The selection committees will give special consideration to:
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students
- students who have been doing most of their school work using the English language for less than 4 years.
Parents may be asked to provide documentary evidence of cultural background if it is required.
Disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder
The selection committees will give special consideration to students with a disability, medical condition or behavioural disorder to determine if they have been disadvantaged in their ability to demonstrate academic merit. Students may also apply for special provisions for the Selective High Schools 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 Selective High School Placement Test. Parents may be required to wait at the test centre during the test to administer medication if necessary.
Illness or misadventure
The selection committees consider circumstances where illness or misadventure has affected a child's performance on the test or in the school assessments or has caused the child to miss the test. Parents can submit a request for consideration of illness/misadventure with supporting evidence before the test or within two weeks after the test.
Choosing selective high schools
Applicants can choose up to three selective high schools. Choose the selective high schools and the order of schools carefully. School choices can be changed up to 27 April 2018. Changes of school choice cannot normally be made after outcomes are released.
Fees and financial assistance
NSW selective high schools are public schools and do not charge fees except for materials contributions for certain school subjects and boarding fees for boarder school placements. Financial assistance may be available for rural or remote students applying for boarder placement.
Female students with a refugee background can apply for the Agnes Borsody Scholarship which provides financial support during Years 7 to 10.
The NSW Department of Education has a responsibility to assess and manage any risk of harm to its staff or students. This includes assessing and managing risks posed to students or staff at a school by any student. Where relevant, such situations will be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Education enrolment policies and procedures.
To finalise enrolment at a selective high school you must:
- have received an 'Authority to attend' letter from the high performing students unit
- present original documents to the school to prove Australian permanent residency or citizenship of Australia or New Zealand and proof of residency.
Offers or enrolments will be terminated if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.