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Hunter schools make NSW’s most improved HSC list


Cessnock High School, Hunter River High School and Swansea High School are putting the region on the map when it comes to the state’s public education.  

Of the 2217 public schools in NSW, the trio have been named in the list of schools showing most improvement in their 2023 Higher School Certificate (HSC) results.  

The achievement follows the introduction of changes addressing aspirations, tailoring learning and increased levels of support.  

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar congratulated the schools, their leaders and students on being named in the top of the state’s 330,000 public high school students. 

“These are outstanding results not only for our schools, but our staff, students and their communities,” Mr Dizdar said. 

“Our Plan for Public Education speaks of our ambition as a system to provide opportunities for all and transform lives through learning.  

“This improvement demonstrates an ongoing commitment to student and school success in the HSC, and the support of dedicated teaching staff to sustain it.  

“These achievements do not happen in isolation. It is the collective efforts of a whole school community to provide outstanding learning experiences in every classroom that challenges and grows our students.”  

public schools
Hunter teens are among the state’s most improved HSC learners

The Department uses top two and top three band HSC data from the Centre of Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) to recognise its most improved schools. 

Cessnock High School showed a strong improvement in the top three band results in 2023 following improved subject selection processes from Year 11 and the establishment of a dedicated senior learning area.  

Cessnock students also benefitted from study skills and extra-curricular mentoring sessions. 

Swansea High School’s improvement was thanks to a strong cultural shift at the school towards high expectations, which also involved partnering with primary schools. Combined with a sharper focus on teaching quality and student growth, the shift is building the school’s reputation for high achievement. 

Hunter River High School has built on its appearance in the 2022 Most Improved list with another strong showing in the top three bands. Each student’s study is tailored to their aspirations and abilities in a culture of high expectation and an environment offering high levels of teaching and resources support.    

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