Cook Government releases blueprint for senior secondary pathways

  • Cook Labor Government strengthening pathways for secondary school students
  • Expert review of senior secondary school pathways released for public consultation
  • Proposed reforms to ensure students fulfil potential in further education, training or work
  • School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) also refreshing Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) to meet the needs of secondary students

Education Minister Dr Tony Buti has today released a blueprint to strengthen secondary school pathways so all students can fulfil their full potential – through their post-school study, training or employment pursuits – and be ready for the Western Australia of the future.

The Post-School Success Expert Panel Report: Consultation Draft reflects the extensive research and stakeholder engagement undertaken across the State by a panel of education experts, including principals and curriculum and assessment policy specialists, with support from a larger Advisory Committee representing key stakeholder groups.

The draft report will now be released for public consultation before a final draft will be submitted to the Minister for consideration. Submissions can be made by 16 August 2024 via the Pathways to Post-School Success Review website.

The comprehensive review aims to ensure all secondary pathways, including Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) and vocational education and training (VET), are fit for purpose, meets the current needs of students and are accessible to encourage all students to challenge themselves.

It highlights while there is currently a lot to celebrate about senior secondary education in Western Australia, more needs to be done to ensure the system is providing accessible and meaningful pathways for all school students.

Key recommendations of the review include actions to:

  • enable as many VET qualifications as possible to contribute to ATAR, in line with other Australian jurisdictions;
  • explore expanding the information included in the Western Australian Statement of Student Achievement (WASSA) to reflect a holistic picture of achievement;
  • to make WASSAs available to students who leave school prior to year 12;
  • work with the school system and sectors to strengthen delivery of career education and pathway planning, particularly for students in regional, remote and lower socio-economic areas;
  • school system and sectors to identify opportunities to strengthen inclusive practices;
  • explore new offerings for students with disability, similar to the Skills course implemented in New South Wales;
  • to develop an additional level within the WACE to accommodate students with a recognised disability, following a period of consultation with students with disability; and
  • keep the literacy and numeracy standard as a requirement to achieve the WACE with an expansion of methods demonstrating the literacy and numeracy standard.

The review was first announced last year and is being led by the Department of Education in partnership with Catholic Education Western Australia and the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia.

The review is being conducted alongside the proposed refreshment to the WACE.

As stated by Education Minister Dr Tony Buti:

“This draft report makes it clear that more needs be done to ensure WA’s education system is providing accessible and meaningful pathways for all school students.

“We are committed to strengthening secondary school pathways, and helping to prepare students for the range of further study, training and work options available to them.

“Senior secondary pathways have wide-ranging implications for a broad range of stakeholders, so it is important that this consultation draft be open for feedback from the public.

“To enable feedback from this further consultation to be considered, the final report will be provided to the State Government on 1 October 2024.

“I thank Professor Bill Louden, Chair, and the Expert Panel for this important report.”

/Public Release. View in full here.