What are selective high schools?

Selective high schools cater for the specific needs of gifted and talented students who have superior academic ability coupled with high classroom performance.

Selective schools can provide intellectual stimulation by grouping together gifted and talented students. Selective high schools are unzoned so parents can apply regardless of where they live.

The High Performing Students Unit administers Year 7 placement in a selective high school. This is a separate process to that of specialist high schools such as performing arts or sports high schools.

The Conservatorium High School is not a selective high school but applicants take the Selective High School Placement Test as part of their application.

Types of selective high schools

There are two types of selective high schools offering Year 7 placement – fully selective and partially selective. They are located throughout NSW.

View the map of selective high schools.

View a list of selective high schools.

Fully selective high schools

There are 21 fully selective high schools in NSW. In these schools all classes are academically selective.

Agricultural high schools

There are four fully selective agricultural high schools located throughout NSW. Agricultural high schools are selective high schools which emphasise the study of agriculture – they are a mix of boarding and day placement. Isolated students receive extra consideration for boarding places.

  • Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School – day and boarding places
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School – day and boarding places (boarders must come from rural areas)
  • James Ruse Agricultural High School – day places only
  • Yanco Agricultural High School  – boarding places only

Partially selective high schools

There are 26 partially selective high schools in NSW where students participate in selective English, mathematics and science classes. They are generally part of a wider cohort of students for classes in other key learning areas.

Aurora College

Aurora College is a partially selective high school. It offers Years 7 to 10 rural and remote students an opportunity to participate in selective classes through a virtual high school. Students must be enrolled in a rural and remote NSW public school (their base school) to apply to Aurora through the Selective High School Placement Test.

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