COVID-19 & Year 12 Students, Can They Finish The School Year?

April 7, 2020

Federal and State Education Ministers will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to find a way to ensure year 12 students finish school this year.

Among options to be canvassed include extending the academic year and postponing final exams.

They will also discuss boosting overall scores and changing university application procedures.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has floated the possibility of extending year 12 into next year, but federal Education Minister Dan Tehan is not keen.

“All options will be considered tomorrow when we meet – that is an outlier option – that is in a very worst-case scenario,” Mr Tehan told Seven on Monday.

“The hope is that we will be able to get everyone through this year.”

State and territory curriculum and assessment authorities will present all available options to the meeting.

Mr Tehan said it was likely responses to the pandemic would vary between jurisdictions. 

“But there is a collective will amongst all education ministers for us to be able to ensure that all those Year 12 students will be able to complete their studies this year,” he said.

“And then go on to university, vocational education or employment next year.”

Universities themselves are keeping a close eye on how the virus and disruptions are playing out for their potential graduates.

But the sector’s peak body says it’s still too early to know what concessions might have to be given.

“This unprecedented situation is changing so rapidly that the impacts on both universities and schools six, nine and 12 months from now just aren’t possible to predict,” Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson told AAP.

“However, universities are nonetheless aware of the potential impact of COVID-19 on school examinations and are developing contingency plans. These will be updated as circumstances change.”

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