Parents are notified of the outcome of their application for each selective high school in September or October.

Students may be:

  • offered a place or
  • put on a reserve list or
  • advised they did not qualify for a place or
  • advised that there are no vacancies in that year.

Offer of placement

If you receive an offer, complete, sign and return your response to the offer to the school as soon as possible.

  • Offers will lapse if responses are not received by the due date advised with the offer.
  • Later offers made by telephone may require a response within 48 hours.
  • If you are unable to access emails or mail during September and October, leave alternative contacts or those of a trusted person to respond on your behalf.
  • When the school receives your response, either accepting or declining the offer, they will send a confirmation letter.
  • Advise the school if you change your mind about accepting an offer. The next student on the list can then be made an offer.

The school will send an 'Authority to attend' to applicants on acceptance of an offer. Records of public school students will be transferred as part of this process.

Offers will be withdrawn if the student fails to enrol at the school at the beginning of the school year without satisfactory explanation. Any deferment or extended absence must be negotiated with the principal. Enrolment may not be deferred beyond the Day 1, Term 2 of the year of intended enrolment.

Offers will be cancelled if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.

Reserve lists

Applicants will be advised if they are placed on a reserve list for any of their chosen schools in the school year they applied for. The school will contact applicants if a place becomes available.

If a school creates a reserve list for future vacancies, the list is active only for the current placement year. If unsuccessful for entry in the school year applied for, applicants need to submit a new application for placement in the next school year.


If you believe you have good reason to contest a decision of the selection committee you can write to the school with detailed reasons why you think the selections committee's decision should be reviewed. Applicants can request a review of a selection committee's decision under the following conditions.

  • You can request a review if you have evidence that the stated criteria for selection were not considered or that the stated process was not followed.
  • A review request can be made of one school only.
  • The request must be in writing – emailed, faxed or posted to the school.
  • The request must be received by the selective high school within 14 days of the outcome advice being sent.

A review will be made if:

  • the selection committee did not follow its own published criteria or process
  • something unforeseen and beyond the control of the applicant or student compromised the student's performance in the assessments – provided the grounds are not excluded by the list below.

Not grounds for a review

Decisions cannot usually be reviewed if they are based on the following grounds:

  • Disruption to schooling for reasons other than a medical condition – a request for a review will not be granted on the basis of family travel, moving house, participation in entertainment, sport, excursions or similar activities.
  • Anxiety, depression, long-term illness or condition which affected the student's ability to demonstrate academic merit or performance in the assessments.
  • Incomplete documentation – it is the applicant's responsibility to provide all required documentary evidence at the time of application.
  • Another student's entry to a selective high school – entry to selective school is determined using a number of measures which may differ from classroom assessment.
  • Delay in granting of a permanent residency visa.

Parents will be notified the outcome of their request within 14 days of submission.

Transfers and repeating

Students cannot automatically transfer between selective high schools. If the student is already enrolled at one selective high and wants to go to another, you must fill out an application form for entry to Years 8 to 12 and submit it to the selective high school of choice before the closing date each year. Your child will then be assessed against other students applying in that year.

If your child is enrolled at a selective high school and you want him or her to repeat a school year in the same school or a different selective high school for the next year, you should discuss the matter with the school principal before applying. If it is supported, you would apply for Years 8 to 12 entry in the usual way.

Enrolment policy

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:

  1. have received an 'Authority to attend' letter from the selective high school
  2. present original documents to the school to prove the student's identity, Australian citizenship or eligible visa, and proof of residency
  3. attend the school at the beginning of the school Year.

Offers will be cancelled if placement is made on the basis of false or misleading information.


  • DoE

Business Unit:

  • NSW public school
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