Understanding Selective Education in NSW

– Wednesday 12 October 2022

Have you ever wondered if your child might be a suitable candidate for an opportunity class or selective high school? The NSW Department of Education caters for high potential and gifted students in a range of ways. This P&C Federation webinar presented by representatives of the Department of Education’s High Performing Students Program team will cover the following topics:

  • the purpose of opportunity classes and selective high schools
  • the types of students who should apply, and the benefits of selective education
  • information about the Department’s new Equity Placement Model which is designed to attract and place more students from groups which are currently under-represented in selective education: gifted students from low socio-educational backgrounds, gifted Aboriginal students, gifted students from rural and remote locations, and gifted learners with disability.

Webinar Presentation Slides

Review of Selective Education Access

Natalie Walker

President, P&C Federation NSW

Natalie Walker is the Far West Councillor & elected President of NSW P&C Federation. She resides in Forbes, Central West NSW, with her husband and two children who attend Forbes High School. Natalie is also an active member of Forbes High School P&C Association, currently in the role of Secretary.

As a passionate advocate for (and product of) public education, Natalie is deeply committed through her professional and volunteer work to ensuring all children and young people get the best start in life. Based in NSW, this means her effort is focussed on strengthening the foundations of key organisations – and particularly the NSW P&C Federation – as valuable stakeholders, partners and contributors to NSW public schools and the system they operate in.

Garth Bolwell

Engagement Lead Advisor, NSW Department of Education

Garth has postgraduate degrees in teaching and computational design science. He is an experienced teacher, with qualifications and experience as an Opportunity Class teacher and school executive. He has worked within schools to design and implement Gifted Education policies to support high potential and gifted primary school students from Kindergarten to Year 6 through the use of comprehensive identification processes, targeted grouping, performance tracking, staff professional development and curriculum acceleration, extension and enrichment, with a particular focus on gifted learners with disability. He has worked in a number of roles within the DoE, primarily working closely with schools to utilize technology to support teaching and learning and digital assessments and reporting. In his current role, he works closely with school executive, teachers, policy makers, community groups, academics and experts to collaboratively develop and implement measures to ensure that selective education continues to be an equitable and viable option for students and their families in NSW.

Rosalind Walsh

Education Lead, Selective Education Program, NSW Department of Education

Dr Rosalind Walsh is currently the Educational Lead of the Selective Education Program working on equity initiatives for selective high schools. She was the Manager of the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information (GERRIC) at UNSW for 10 years. Rosalind completed a PhD examining gifted children’s responses to higher order questioning at Macquarie University and was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence, as well as the Australasian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented’s annual award for best thesis. Rosalind has taught English, ESL and Drama and extension maths for primary school students. In 2018, she consulted on the development of the new NSW Policy for High Potential and Gifted Education.