Applying for selective high school – a webinar for parents and carers of Year 5 students

Wednesday, 1 November 7:00pm – 8:00pm AEDT

Applying for a place at a selective high school for Year 7 starts when the child is in Year 5. Parents or carers of students in Year 5 need to apply by 20 November 2023 for placement at selective high school for Year 7 in 2025.

Parents and carers are invited to attend the webinar to learn more about selective high schools, the application and placement process. The webinar will cover:

  • Types of selective high schools: fully selective, partially selective, online
  • Benefits of selective high school
  • Explaining the placement process
  • The Equity Placement Model
  • Submitting the online application
  • Reasonable adjustments for disability
  • Preparing for the test, including:
    • what to expect
    • practice test papers
    • test centres
    • what if something goes wrong on test day?
  • Outcomes
    • Appeals
    • Questions and answers

Participants may submit questions in advance through the registration page.


  • Magda Pollak PSM, Leader, Selective Education Unit
  • Garth Bolwell, Relieving Manager, Selective High School Placement
  • Skye Bower, Senior Disability Placement Officer
  • Eva Canute, Senior Education Officer

To register

To register, please click on the button below.  Participants are also encouraged to submit questions to the panelists on the webinar registration page.

Magda Pollak PSM
Leader, Selective Education Unit, NSW Department of Education, Selective Education Unit

Magda Pollak has led the Selective Education Unit since 2005. She has spent almost 20 years as a high school English teacher and has two publications for English teaching staff to her name. She has always had a special interest in the education of high-potential and gifted students and is committed to ensuring equal opportunity access for disadvantaged groups.

Magda has been the recipient of a Public Service Medal in recognition of her services to public education.

Garth Bolwell
Relieving Manager, Selective High School Placement

Garth Bolwell has worked in NSW public education for almost 2 decades. He has been a primary school Opportunity Class teacher, assistant principal and principal. For the past 6 years Garth has worked within the department on online assessment, teacher professional development, policy development and implementation.

He is a passionate advocate for high-potential and gifted learners and has worked extensively to support equitable participation in selective education for students from underrepresented groups, with a particular focus on gifted students with disability. Garth has relieved as the Opportunity Class Placement Manager and the Selective High School placement Manager within the Selective Education Unit.

Skye Bower
Senior Disability Placement Officer

Skye Bower is a Senior Disability Placement Officer for the Selective Education Unit and is responsible for arranging reasonable adjustments for students with disability sitting the Selective High School Placement Test. Prior to joining the Unit, Skye worked as a primary school teacher, enrichment teacher and learning and support teacher for over 10 years.

Skye is a passionate advocate for students with disability and is committed to ensuring equitable access for all students applying for placement in a selective high school. Skye has a BA Dip Education with first class Honours and a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning Difficulties Support Teaching.

Eva Canute
Senior Education Officer

As a senior education officer, Eva Canute is involved with every aspect of placement of students in selective high schools. Before starting her role at the Selective Education Unit, Eva was assistant principal at Bowral Public School, where she led the implementation of high potential and gifted strategies and programs.

Ever since completing her Master of Teaching in 2012, Eva has been a passionate advocate for identifying and meeting the needs of the many diverse gifted students in our NSW public schools. Prior to teaching, Eva wrote, directed and produced theatre for young people.