Bar raised for Year 12s

Pilbara News - - Pilbara News - ■ Bethany Hi­att

Thou­sands of Year 12 stu­dents will fail to meet new high school grad­u­a­tion re­quire­ments this year, School Cur­ricu­lum and Stan­dards Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan Bla­gaich has warned.

Last year, 96.4 per cent of 24,000 Year 12s achieved a WA Cer­tifi­cate of Education, but Mr Bla­gaich said that fig­ure was likely to drop to be­tween 88 and 90 per cent this year.

Mr Bla­gaich ex­pected to field more an­gry queries from dis­ap­pointed stu­dents and par­ents at the end of this year, but said the changes were nec­es­sary to make the WACE more mean­ing­ful.

Un­der re­forms af­fect­ing Year 12s for the first time this year, to at­tain a WACE stu­dents must meet a min­i­mum lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy stan­dard by pass­ing an on­line test.

They must also achieve at least six C grades in their fi­nal year in­stead of the pre­vi­ous re­quire­ment of a C av­er­age, which could have in­cluded D grades bal­anced by Bs or As.

Stu­dents who are not aim­ing for univer­sity en­trance will have to com­plete gen­eral cour­ses which are more diffi- cult than the stage one cour­ses they have re­placed.

Year 12s will need to achieve an Aus­tralian Ter­tiary Ad­mis­sion Rank or a vo­ca­tional Cer­tifi­cate II level or higher to qual­ify for the WACE.

Those who do not re­ceive a WACE will still get a WA State­ment of Stu­dent Achieve­ment that shows they have com­pleted 12 years of school.

Mr Bla­gaich said the bar was now higher but that did not mean stu­dents who did not get over the bar had not achieved their per­sonal best.

“The no­tion of a school hav­ing a 100 per cent grad­u­a­tion rate is un­likely, but I don’t nec- es­sar­ily think that is a bad thing,” he said.

“The work is more chal­leng­ing and we will ex­pect stu­dents to step up.

“It is very much an onus of re­spon­si­bil­ity on stu­dents to ac­cept the chal­lenges of a more rig­or­ous Year 12.”

Education Min­is­ter Peter Col­lier said he made no apol­ogy should many stu­dents miss out on a WACE.

“We don’t lower the bar so ev­ery­one can feel good,” he said.

“As soon as you have di­min­ished stan­dards you have no cred­i­bil­ity as an education sys­tem.”

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