Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has chosen specialist teachers from the Coffs Coast to participate in the virtual high school experiment.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has chosen specialist teachers from the Coffs Coast to participate in the virtual high school experiment. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Coffs Coast teachers join Aurora College funded by Gonski

SPECIALIST teachers from two local educational facilities have been selected to staff the State's first virtual high school which will offer classes for rural and remote students from the beginning of 2015.

Teachers from Toormina and Coffs Harbour High Schools are among the 25 regional schools selected for the program, announced by Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.

To be named Aurora College, the school will offer selective classes to cater for gifted and talented students and give high school students across NSW the opportunity to study subjects not available in their own schools.

The first intake will be 55 Year 7 students, who had to sit the selective school exam to gain a place.

Year 11 students will use videoconferencing technology to study extension subjects such as mathematics, science and economics that may not be available at their schools.

Over 200 students are expected to be enrolled in the College in 2015 with the local teachers among a short list of 50 selected from 130 applications.

Mr Piccoli said $8 million had been allocated for the establishment of the school.

Planning for the program was first announced in November 2013 after the NSW Coalition opted to participate in the former Federal Labor Government's Gonski Education Funding reforms.

"The school is the first of its kind in Australia and it will grow over time with a new selective intake added every year," Mr Piccoli said.

"Providing high performing students in regional areas with the same opportunities as their metropolitan peers will go a long way towards closing the gap in educational achievement between city and country students."



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