Bar raised for Year 12s
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.”