Change is already underway
Analysis of 22 policy papers and reviews on senior secondary pathways from the past four years, including federal and state policy and curriculum reviews and reports from The Business Council of Australia and other leading academics reveals:
- Universal agreement that there is an over-reliance on the ATAR; which is increasingly irrelevant to post school pathways and is often unfair especially to those who are already starting from a position of educational disadvantage.
- Maintaining the status quo isn’t good for Australia’s economic strength and resilience and isn’t good for society as disconnection and disengagement in learning entrenches disadvantage.
EVIDENCE OF CHANGE
New policy and practice are already emerging
Over the past 24 months we have seen momentum for reform of senior secondary learning recognition grow, but it is not consolidated or coordinated. There has been:
- Consensus from significant government commissioned policy reviews confirming the need for change
- Broad and well documented demand from industry and higher education
- Wealthy schools operating independently to create their own forms of recognitions that meet employer and tertiary institution demands and bespoke pathways for their students
- Many states beginning to design their own version of a broader credential
- Rapid expansion of universities offering alternative entry pathways
- Global evidence of similar momentum for change
Broader recognition has the potential to transform the life trajectories of disadvantaged young people
A broader recognition system would enable young people to:
- demonstrate and articulate a broader and deeper range of skills and capabilities to employers, educators, selectors and recruiters and
- go on to contribute to society as confident, creative and capable individuals.
PARENTS, EDUCATORS, EMPLOYERS AND YOUNG PEOPLE AGREE
There is consensus from across the learning landscape
‘On paper, it can be hard to quantify what makes our students special as they haven’t been afforded the same opportunities or supports that others have, but given the chance to demonstrate their skills via a trial or week’s work experience, they often exceed employers expectations.’ - Emily, Educator at the David Scott School (Brotherhood of St Laurence)
‘(It produces).. lack of confidence due to society’s perception of what success should look like for you vs your idea of what success is for you. (There is)...pressure to prioritise specialised learning in school subjects rather than feeling safe to take a step towards learning a new skill.’ - Student
‘My daughter doesn’t know the value in the skills she has that an employer would want to see. Her school doesn’t recognise them so she doesn’t see them as valuable.’ - Parent
‘One young person may have had a lot of help from their parents, or tutors to complete their homework or had access to more extra curricular experiences.. Others may not have had as much support and perhaps don’t score as well, but they may have developed traits such as resourcefulness and a hard work ethic from having to do a lot by themselves, which are traits that are also very relevant for many roles. - J Tucci, PwC
‘People with disabilities are forced to navigate an education system not built for them, especially if we are mainstreamed. We have to put so much more time and energy into our learning than people without disabilities - Student