NSW is reserving 20 per cent of selective school places for disadvantaged students, and some parents aren’t happy about it – Michmutters

NSW is reserving 20 per cent of selective school places for disadvantaged students, and some parents aren’t happy about it

Thousands of NSW students are nervously awaiting the results of their selective school tests following a significant overhaul of the admissions process.

Last month, NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell announced up to 20 per cent of places at selective schools would be set aside for disadvantaged students.

North Sydney resident Bruce Fan is one of many parents now worried their children may miss out on a spot at their dream school due to the new policy.

Mr Fan started an online petition calling on the government to scrap the new policy and redo the public consultation.

“It is unfair that the policy has been retrospectively implemented on the students who have already sat the tests this year,” he said.

A man sits next to the computer
Bruce Fan says the government should increase the number of places at selective schools rather than reserving existing places for disadvantaged students.(Supplied)

Mr Fan said the online petition was not about stopping the government from helping the disadvantaged groups but urging the government to invest more funding into the public education system.

“I firmly believe that we need to support the disadvantaged communities and students, but this quota is not the right solution,” he said.

“The government should set up more selective schools in lower socio-economic areas.”

Kellyville resident Yashwant Desai, one of more than 4,000 signatories to the petition, said he too believed the change was unfair.

“It’s not giving everyone a fair go,” said Mr Desai, whose children have already been accepted into a selective school.

“What the government is doing is just for political advantage and to gain the most sympathetic votes.

“Why are only selective schools being targeted?” he asked, echoing Mr Fan’s call for the government to invest more in public schools where disadvantaged students lived.

An Indian man with glasses sits next to his computer
Yashwant Desai said students work hard for the selective school test and deserve a fair process.(Supplied)

Changes intended to make selective schools fairer

Selective high schools are designed to cater for the needs of gifted students, or those with high potential, by providing specialized teaching methods and materials.

The 49 selective schools in NSW often outperform expensive private schools and dominate HSC leaderboards.

But the only way to get into one is to compete with thousands of other students on the state-run entry tests.


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