Education ministers are looking at every option to ensure year 12 students finish school this year despite the mayhem caused by the coronavirus.
Concerns have been raised about how the disruption caused by COVID-19 could damage year 12 results.
They will also discuss boosting overall scores and changing university application procedures.
Any major changes to Year 12 assessments and exams would need to be consistent across the states as they would affect the nationally applied Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).
Education authorities in NSW have made changes to final exams and given assurances the HSC will go ahead, while Victoria and SA are also pressing ahead but will be flexible if needed.
Queensland has already adjusted its Year 12 assessments and WA is considering a similar measure as well as delaying its final exams.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has floated the possibility of extending year 12 into next year, but the Federal Government is not keen.
President of the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals, Sue Bell, said that the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) was drawing up contingency plans, but schools were in need of some certainty.
“What we need for year 12s is some sort of certainty… Even if that certainty changes down the road,” she told radio station 3AW.
“Schools want to know what [the VCAA’s] plans are and when those trigger points kick in.
“Whether it’s moving exams back, not doing internal assessments… I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to deliver something earlier than [pushing assessments into next year].
“What year 12s are aiming for is an ATAR, an Australia-wide qualification we need to actually work with other states as well and that’s why it’s taking a little bit longer to come to an agreement.”
Ms Bell said that teachers were planning for all contingencies.
Social distancing has already impacted some high school studies.
Mandatory group performances for drama and music have been scrapped and Vocational Education Training students will no longer be required to undertake work placements.
Any other performance exams that breach social distancing requirements will be modified, and principals will be able to independently adjust Year 11 assessments.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly stressed he does not want children’s education to suffer during the pandemic.
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