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Education options in NSW – Senior high schools, Trade Schools and TAFE

Senior high schools are comprehensive high schools that cater exclusively for senior students from Years 10 or 11 to 12.

As the focus in these schools is on senior students, they are able to develop and employ more flexible and innovative curriculum timetabling arrangements to suit the needs of young adults. Senior high schools offer a more adult learning environment than most other high schools.

Students are given opportunities and support as they develop maturity and independence.

Some of the best features of tertiary-style, independent learning are combined with the more supportive, welfareoriented secondary education culture. In terms of curriculum, a focus on the senior years allows senior high schools to deliver a wider range of courses in the senior domain, including special accreditation arrangements with TAFE and industry.

Senior high schools in Sydney and surrounds include:

Bankstown Senior College

Bradfield College

Brisbane Water Secondary College (Woy Woy campus)

Callaghan College (Jesmond Senior Campus)

Chifley College Senior Campus

Coffs Harbour Senior College

Georges River College (Oatley Senior Campus)

Illawarra Senior College

Northern Beaches Secondary College (Freshwater Senior Campus)

St Marys Senior High

Sydney Secondary College (Blackwattle Bay Campus)

Wyndham College (Nirimba Collegiate Group)

Trade Schools

Trade schools are designed to link schools with industry and TAFE to tackle skills shortages.

Currently, 26 trade schools are open for enrolments in NSW.

About half of these will be based in existing high schools and provided with upgraded industrystandard facilities.

The other half will consist of school-TAFE partnerships, using existing TAFE facilities. Students in trade schools will have the option of undertaking a school-based apprenticeship, a school-based traineeship or other vocational course while completing their HSC.

Students will have access to specialist industry-standard facilities. Students will also have access to new industry support services that will place them in jobs to complete their training. Industry, and the local economy, benefits from having more job-ready graduates able to take on work in key skills shortage areas.

For more information, visit au/vetinschools/index.html


Almost all secondary schools in NSW offer Vocational Education and Training (VET) as part of their curriculum.

VET courses are delivered at school and at TAFE colleges. These courses provide students with access to nationally recognised vocational qualifications, which are part of their HSC pattern of study, and prepare students for employment or a pathway into further education and training.

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