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“We must start valuing vocational and academic pathways equally"

NSW Nationals

NSW students will have stronger pathways from high school to their future careers as part of the NSW Government’s push to overhaul and modernise the HSC.

Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the next phase of our once-in-a-generation curriculum reform is updating what students learn in their final years at school, as it has been more than 50 years since the HSC was introduced and 25 years since the last major review.

“A lot has changed in the past 25 years. We need to bring the HSC into the 21st Century and make sure senior students develop the skills and knowledge relevant for the jobs of today and the future,” Ms Mitchell said.

“In today’s economy we all need analytical, communication and collaboration skills to succeed, regardless of whether we are working as a retail manager, plumber, scientific researcher or politician.

“We must start valuing vocational and academic pathways equally, and recognise all students need the skills to thrive in modern workplaces.”

Changes underway to modernise HSC curriculum and assessment include:

• Abolishing the current system of classifying HSC courses as Category A or Category B Vocational Education and Training (VET) so more courses can contribute to a student’s ATAR from 2025.
• Piloting more HSC exams online, starting with the new Enterprise Computing and Software Engineering exams from 2025.
• Introduction of a learner profile to showcase a student’s extra-curricular achievements holistically, not just their exam results.
• Clearer course overviews that link skills and knowledge to careers so Year 10 students will have a greater understanding of the skills they will develop when they are selecting their HSC subjects.

The timeline has also been updated for the new senior secondary syllabuses, with all on track to be delivered by 2025.

The Gonski-Shergold review of the VET sector identified current HSC and ATAR arrangements as a barrier to developing a pipeline of job-ready high school graduates.

When young people complete VET subjects at school, they get real life skills that set them up for a brighter future when they leave the school gates.

These changes will significantly expand the education and employment pathways available to young people who want to get skilled while still at school and then further their education at a registered training provider or one of our world class universities.

The NSW curriculum reform program is on track to see all K-10 syllabuses delivered by 2024, and all Year 11-12 syllabuses delivered by 2025. The new Year 11-12 Enterprise Computing and Software Engineering syllabuses will be published on the new digital curriculum platform in Term 3, 2022.


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