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Overhaul Fifty Year Old HSC To Set Students On Track For Work, Study, Life

Release Date: 14/12/2017
School education needs an urgent overhaul if young people finishing their Higher School Certificate (HSC) are to be ready for work, further study and adult life, according to the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
“Earlier today, thousands of young people across New South Wales woke up at the crack of dawn to view their HSC results. While some will be elated, many will be disappointed by the outcome of many months of hard work and may also be worried about the effect their HSC results will have on their future,” Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.
“The question is, does the HSC warrant the stress students experience and does it prepare them adequately for their future? The comparatively distant origins of the HSC point to the answer.
“This year marks the fiftieth year of the HSC and since its introduction in 1967 much has changed.  The world has shifted from an industrial to the digital age, and business is calling for transferable ‘enterprise’ skills rather than the subject matter expertise borne of rote learning.
“The HSC also remains overwhelmingly geared toward the needs of students who plan to go on to university, rather than recognising the achievements and capabilities of the majority of students who proceed to vocational training, an apprenticeship, traineeship or straight into fulltime work.
“As was highlighted in the NSW Business Chamber’s recent Old School/New School: Transforming school education for the 21st  century report, the HSC and, in fact, the whole of school education needs a rethink if we are to properly prepare our kids for a satisfying career and life after school.
“While turning an entire school system around is an immense challenge, the six ideas proposed in the report will set the ‘old school’ system on the right track to become the ‘new school’ system of the 21st century,” Bob said.
These ideas include:
    Identifying an entire region in NSW to pilot proven teaching and learning approaches to scale, instead of limiting innovation to one or two schools
    Publishing longitudinal data tracking student progress and outcomes
    Revamping the HSC as a final credential that recognises different modes of achievement and sets all students on the right pathway to work
    Support teacher development through professional learning hubs, supported by an opt-in mentoring program
    Ensuring every child in every school can access the support services they need, including comprehensive careers advice and an industry-led mentoring program for high risk students and;
    Integrating enterprise skills within the school curriculum and measuring their attainment from Year 9 on.
“With the Federal Government soon to release the results of the ‘Gonski 2.0’ review of education standards, these school holidays present the perfect opportunity to start setting our education system in NSW and nationally on the path to change,” Bob said.
Further information on the NSW Business Chamber’s report and Old School/New School campaign can be found at

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