Guidance for high ability practice leaders on the processes of departmental student selection and school nomination of students for the Victorian High-Ability Program.
Students are centrally selected for the Victorian High-Ability Program (VHAP) by the Student Excellence Unit in the department, which uses a selection algorithm that is based on student achievement data to assess student ability to participate in the program. The program is centred on English and mathematics.
- Students must have parental/caregiver consent for each term that they participate in the program.
- High ability practice leaders may request that a student’s name be withdrawn from the program if they consider that the student is not ready or able to complete the program.
- Students may participate in each Victorian High-Ability Program course once.
- Students may participate in only one Victorian High-Ability Program course per term.
If a high-ability student has not been centrally selected for a Victorian High-Ability Program course, high ability practice leaders (HAPLs) and school principals are encouraged to nominate eligible students for consideration for inclusion in the program by completing a nomination form.
About halfway through each term, Student Excellence sends an email update about its initiatives for the following term to all high ability practice leaders on its contact list. The email notifies schools that the selection lists for the following term’s Victorian High-Ability Program are now available on the VHAP/VSV Portal and advises schools of the actions required and relevant due dates.
Selection of students for the Victorian High-Ability Program by the department
For the purposes of selection for the Victorian High-Ability Program, the department uses a combination of NAPLAN data and teacher judgement data. Priority of place is provided to students who have high ability and experience social-economic disadvantage, identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or reside in a regional and/or rural area.
All Years 5–8 Victorian government school students are eligible to be considered for selection for the Victorian High-Ability Program by Student Excellence. Students may do one Victorian High-Ability Program course per term, and may participate in each course once.
Year 5 and Year 6 students are considered for:
- Primary English
- Primary Mathematics.
Year 7 and Year 8 students are considered for:
- Secondary English
- Secondary Mathematics.
Students who have participated in any Primary course are eligible to be considered for selection in the Secondary courses when they reach Year 7.
For any selection queries, high ability practice leaders can email Student Excellence at
The selection of students for the Victorian High-Ability Program is an invitation. In order to enrol a student in the following term’s program, high ability practice leaders must seek and register parental/caregiver consent in the VHAP/VSV Portal. This secures the student’s place and generates their login details for their classes the following term. These login details are automatically sent to all high ability practice leaders listed in the Student Excellence contact list for that school.
Students must have parental/caregiver consent for each term that they participate in the program.
For more information on parental/caregiver consent, see
Parental/caregiver consent for Victorian High-Ability Program students.
Withdrawing a student from the Victorian High-Ability Program
Student Excellence invites high ability practice leaders to use their judgement when seeking parental consent. If they consider a student is not ready to participate in the Victorian High-Ability Program and complete it, parental consent need not be sought, and the student may be withdrawn from the program for that term.
High ability practice leaders can withdraw a student by clicking on the ‘i’ next to the student’s name in the VHAP/VSV portal. Then click ‘NO’ and ‘Save’.
Alternatively, to request that a student be withdrawn from the program at any time, high ability practice leaders should contact Student Excellence at
- accounts are inactivated.
- details are removed in accordance with the department’s data retention policy.
Student Excellence will not revoke an invitation to a student to participate in the Victorian High-Ability Program unless:
- a school’s high ability practice leader or school leader requests it
- the student has participated in the same course previously.
Nominating a student for the Victorian High-Ability Program
Some high-ability students who are eligible for the Victorian High-Ability Program may not have been centrally selected by the department. In these cases, schools are warmly invited to nominate them for consideration by submitting a
The Nomination Guidelines are accessible through the link on the front of the
VHAP/VSV Portal. High ability practice leaders are encouraged to read these before submitting nominations. See the image below for where to find the link.
Student Excellence acknowledges and appreciates teachers as experts, and respects and values teachers’ judgement regarding high-ability student identification. Schools are encouraged to nominate high-ability students who are eligible for the Victorian High-Ability Program for consideration by Student Excellence.
Schools are encouraged to involve all relevant school staff to identify high-ability students including:
- high ability practice leaders
- school leaders
- year-level coordinators
- literacy and numeracy leaders, learning specialists, classroom teachers, wellbeing, pathways and inclusion staff
- other staff members who can provide information about individual student learning needs and achievement levels.
A student must meet
all of the following requirements
prior to being nominated in order to be considered:
- be ready and able to complete the program, including being able to meet minimum requirements, such as completing coursework and homework outside school hours
- have the support of their school’s high ability practice leader and leadership to complete the program if the nomination is successful
- have parental/caregiver consent to participate in the program
- show evidence of high ability in English and/or mathematics
- have not previously completed the same course.
High ability practice leaders are encouraged to nominate under-achieving high-ability students if they also fulfil the requirements above.
Students may complete each Victorian High-Ability Program course once. If they have already completed a course, they are not eligible to do it again.
Students may participate in only one Victorian High-Ability Program course each term. High ability practice leaders should nominate each student for only one course per term.
The nomination form
The nomination form is specific to each term. It goes live at the same time as the selection lists go live on the VHAP/VSV Portal, about halfway through each term. This is so that high ability practice leaders can see which students the department has selected for the following term. Students who have been selected for a particular term do not also need to be nominated for that term.
The VHAP nomination form is accessible through a link within the Nomination Guidelines on the
VHAP/VSV Portal. It is also included in the customary
Student Excellence Initiatives email that is sent to all high ability practice leaders with information for the following term.
The image below shows where to find the VHAP nomination form link in the Nomination Guidelines.
High ability practice leaders must use their @education.vic.gov.au email address to access and complete the VHAP nomination form as it does not recognise or accept other email addresses. We also recommend that high ability practice leaders use the Chrome browser to access the nomination form.
If the online form is not accessible, a Word format of the form can be requested by emailing Student Excellence at
A separate nomination form is needed for each student. Each nomination submission is considered individually.
Providing the Victorian student number
Teachers are asked to supply the Victorian Student Number (VSN), the 9-digit number, which can be found on CASES21, or possibly on your school’s Learning Management System (LMS) – Simon or Compass. The VSN is not the students’ school code.
Providing the VSN allows the department to track student participation across terms in different courses to ensure the appropriate course invitations are made.
The due date for nominations
There is a different Nomination Guidelines link on the front of the VHAP/VSV Portal each term and the period in which it remains live is approximately 3 weeks. The due date generally aligns with the due date for registering
parental consent in the
VHAP/VSV portal for selected students.
The reason for nominations opening when selection has been finalised for the following term is so that you can see your selected students, who will not need to be nominated.
The due date for submitting nominations is provided in the Student Excellence Initiatives email update to all high ability practice leaders each term. It is also displayed on the front of the VHAP/VSV Portal.
Student Excellence communicates the outcome of nomination submissions via email generally within a week.
Late nominations submitted after the due date may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Evidence required for nominations
The VHAP Nomination form will ask you to confirm that you could provide evidence to show that the student is showing high ability for that particular course. For the purposes of nomination, students should be at least 6 months ahead of the expected level for their same-aged peers.
Appropriate evidence includes (but is not limited to):
- school-approved benchmark assessments: standardised tests and tools, for example, Essential Assessment or PAT (must include stanine)
- reliable diagnostic and formative skills-based assessments that position a student accurately on a developmental continuum
- a written recommendation from the principal
- teacher judgement data, for example, age-expected data and growth and longitudinal entries on the data management system.
Student Excellence Initiatives email
About halfway through each term, Student Excellence sends an email update about its initiatives for the following term. The email is sent to all high ability practice leaders whose names are on Student Excellence’s contact list.
Alongside other information, the email notifies schools that the selection lists for the following term’s Victorian High-Ability Program are now available on the VHAP/VSV Portal and advises schools of the actions required and relevant due dates.
For further information, please contact Student Excellence at