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

For entry in 2020, appeals forms must be submitted to primary principals by 23 July 2019. Residency appeals should be sent directly to the Team. Late appeals are not accepted.

Grounds for an appeal

All decisions made by the selection committees and appeals panels are based on the way students are ranked by academic merit for placement in selective high schools. You may appeal against the decision of the selection committee if you are aware of something specific that happened to prevent your child from getting higher school assessment scores or higher test scores. However, appeals will not generally be accepted if they are based on grounds that you notified the Unit about or should have notified the Team about, through the illness/misadventure process by 28 March 2019.

An applicant can only appeal based on one of the following:

  • factors which may have prevented the student from achieving higher school assessment scores
  • factors which may have prevented the student achieving higher test marks or attending the test.

All relevant documentary evidence must be included with all appeals at the time they are submitted. Additional material will not be requested by the Team and cannot be considered after the due date.

Appeals that have the greatest chance of being upheld are those where:

  • you know what happened to prevent your child from doing his or her best at school or in the test
  • you have not already told the selection committee about this event and you have good reasons for not doing so
  • you have written evidence to support your case.

For entry in 2020, appeals must be submitted to the current primary school principal by 23 July 2019. The school should forward the appeal to the High Performing Students Team by 30 July 2019.

Residency appeals

Applicants for selective high school placement must satisfy residency requirements. An appeal on the grounds of residency can be made in extenuating circumstances, for example, on receipt of written evidence a permanent residency visa is about to be granted.

Residency appeals are submitted directly to the High Performing Students Team using the residency appeal form (available here for two weeks after the outcome is sent). Residency appeals do not need to be submitted to the school principal.

Not valid for an appeal

The following are not usually considered grounds for an appeal. Do not submit an appeal for any of the following:

  • the same grounds as those submitted in an Illness/misadventure claim
  • issues from the time of the test which should have been addressed at that time, such as:
    • difficult family circumstances and bereavements or other issues during Year 5 or in the period leading up to the test or on test day
    • illness, anxiety, stress, fatigue or injury at the time of the test or at school in Year 5
    • test centre problems such as disruptions during the test or suspected shorter time given for tests
    • participation in entertainment, sports, excursions, camps or holidays.
  • suspected misalignment of answers – this should be notified immediately after the test
  • any school related issues such as:
    • extended teacher absence
    • changes of teacher or school
    • academic performance before Year 5 or after December of Year 5.
  • academic performance using other measurements such as NAPLAN, IQ tests, International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) testing, school reports, certificates, scholarship tests
  • process used to determine academic merit, such as lack of school scores, use of IQ test results
  • lack of familiarity with the process, language, culture and/or NSW education system
  • young age of the student, lack of test preparation, educational disadvantage or failure of the student to complete tests and/or the perceived failure of the student to demonstrate his/her true potential
  • attempts by parents to re-calculate the placement score using raw test and school assessment scores to question the calculated placement score without access to the results of all students for the moderation and scaling process
  • perceived advantage the student may gain from placement in a selective high school, including travel convenience, attendance with friends/siblings, benefits to the family.

Requests for re-marking are not considered grounds for appeal. Multiple-choice tests are computer marked by two separate companies. Any differences in the reports are manually reconciled. The writing test is marked independently by two markers and any differences are reconciled by a supervising marker.

Appeal process

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

  • Download the appeals form or the residency appeal form (available here for two weeks after the outcome is sent)
  • Complete the parents' section explaining the grounds for appeal and attach supporting documentation.
  • Submit the appeal to the student's current primary principal by 23 July 2019.
  • Submit appeals based on residency directly to the Team by 23 July 2019.

Primary principals will complete the principals' section and send the appeal to the unit by 30 July 2019.

Receipt of appeals will be acknowledged within 21 days. Contact the Team only if you do not receive acknowledgement after this time.

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

Appeals panels

Appeals panels meet in September to consider all valid appeals. Appeals panels include the Director of Business Systems, a selective high school principal, an opportunity class principal, a school community representative and may include local Directors, Educational Leadership. The appeals panel will consult with the primary school principal if necessary.

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 October.

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