Opportunity boost for gifted NSW students

·1-min read

Gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds will get a fairer go at reaching their potential following a review of access in selective NSW high schools.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the 2018 research found certain groups of high potential pupils miss out on places due to low socio-economic circumstances, Aboriginal background, disability or through residing in rural or remote areas.

The new process will reserve up to 20 per cent of opportunity class places for students from each of the four equity groups, she says.

"A student's academic potential should not be determined by where they live, their background or their disability," Ms Mitchell said on Sunday.

"We are helping to address the unintended barriers that prevent gifted students from having fair and equitable access."

The minister says every student who gains placement in an opportunity class or selective high school will deserve to be there and have the academic talent to fulfil their potential.

A combination of current acceptance rates of students from identified equity groups and the new reserved places will make sure selective schools are more reflective of the proportions in the state's public schools.

Ms Mitchell says if there are not enough equity group applicants to a particular school or if they don't meet minimum performance requirements, the held places will be offered to general applicants based on their highest performance on the placement test.

The changes will be implemented this year for 2023 enrolments.

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