Specialist Settings in NSW public schools

Specialist settings are available in the NSW public education system to meet the needs of our diverse student cohort. These settings provide parents/carers and students choice regarding their education.

Our commitment

As part of our commitment to improving learning and wellbeing for students in every school, we have developed an information document, NSW Education specialist settings.

We are committed to strengthening practice across our mainstream and specialist settings to improve student outcomes. Inclusion is embedded in all aspects of school life, and is supported by culture, policies and everyday practices.

Our specialist settings

Specialist settings have been developed and resourced to provide more extensive and targeted support where this is relevant and necessary to strengthen a student’s academic achievement, specific skills or interests, emotional wellbeing, and/or social development.

Specialist settings range from classes within or attached to mainstream schools, to dedicated environments where students have access to specific infrastructure, facilities and staff with specialised knowledge and skills. Specialist settings do not operate in isolation from each other or from mainstream school settings

The document outlines the broad scope of specialist settings available to meet the strengths, interests and needs of students in NSW, including but not limited to opportunity classes, specialist high schools (such as those specialising in creative and performing arts, sports, and technology), and Schools for Specific Purposes.

The document then narrows focus to explain how specialist settings for students with disability operate, and their role in the NSW public education system in supporting students and their families.

If you would like to find out more about this document please email disability.strategy@det.nsw.edu.au.


  • Student management and wellbeing

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
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