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2.Equity and Opportunity in Senior Secondary Assessment & Certification

Australia’s certification system is fragmented  and  inequitable. It does not provide the value for young people that it should. Only 26% of students access tertiary pathways via the ATAR, an increasingly irrelevant ranking mechanism that is often unfair to those starting from a position of educational disadvantage. Our senior secondary curriculum primarily celebrates achievement in traditional academic domains and schooling structures. However, is this enough to prepare our young people with the digital literacies, life skills  and other metacognitive competencies that research tells us they will need? Though there are emerging efforts in some states and territories, national leadership is required for all young Australians to thrive into the future.

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ASPA's Best Next Steps

1. Develop a national senior secondary unification framework that includes measures for capabilities, learner profiles, equal standing and integration for VET, recognition for out of school experience and learning. 

2. Increase the number of vocational education and training (VET) courses available to students and remove the requirement for tertiary qualified VET teachers to have Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

3. Scale up careers education resources for secondary schools beginning in year 8 

4. Nationally licensed flexibility for principals and schools to determine their local ‘guaranteed and viable curriculum’ and remove the requirement for compulsory languages in year 7 & 8

5. Commission research and invest in alternate models for secondary education that provide options and pathways for students for whom mainstream schooling does not work.

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