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What the HSC overhaul means for principals

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Brett Henebery | 22 Feb 2017, 09:47 AM Agree 0
The Educator speaks to NESA chair Tom Alegounarias about what the biggest changes to the NSW syllabus in decades means for principals
  • Dorothy Hoddinott | 24 Feb 2017, 10:35 AM Agree 0
    While the literacy and numeracy requirements for an HSC may seem resaonable to ensure that schools can intervene early to ensure students meet an acceptable standard, these requirements are not reasonable for EALD students who have enrolled late into our school system. A student who enrols into Year 11, for instance, after four terms of intensive English is still an early second phase learner of English. That student may be academically able and gain the marks necessary for university entry in his/her HSC subjects, but may not meet the Band 8 NAPLAN equivalent required for the award of an HSC. I acknowledge that such a student will receive a Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and will still be eligible for an ATAR, so in that sense the award of an HSC will become irrelevant. For students who are not aiming for tertiary studies, the non-award of an HSC is more serious, as it may be the sole educational they attain. For many of our refugee students, who struggle with lack of prior education, interrupted schooling, trauma and poverty, that HSC is a symbol of a new life. The new tough approach to the HSC will deny them proof that their lives have changed for the better. It is nonsense to say that st udents have up to five years after they complete school to achieve the desired standard. Many will give up.
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