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Three Hunter schools among the most-improved 2023 HSC NSW public schools

NSW Department of Education 2 mins read

Media release


Wednesday 20 March 2024


Three Hunter schools among the most-improved 2023 HSC NSW public schools


Cessnock High School, Swansea High School and Hunter River High School are among the NSW public high schools that have shown most improvement in their 2023 Higher School Certificate (HSC) results.


NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar congratulated the schools, their leaders and students on their success. 


“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.” 


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


Top two bands include bands 5 and 6 for HSC standard courses and E3 and E4 for extension courses, while top three bands include bands 4-6 (standard) and E2-E4 (extension).


Cessnock High School had 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. Students have also benefitted from study skills and extra-curricula mentoring sessions.


Swansea High School’s improvement was under the two band measure. There has been a strong cultural shift at the school towards high expectation, which has also involved partner 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.


There are 2217 public schools in NSW with more than 800,000 students, including around 330,000 high school students.   

Contact details:

Sven Wright, media officer, 02 7814 0069

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