The State Government has released the review of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), which outlines 16 recommendations for improving the certificate.
The independent review, led by highly regarded principal Ms Wendy Johnson, was informed by extensive consultation and received numerous submissions, including over 1500 survey responses.
Key recommendations include removing the compulsory 10 credit Research Project from Stage 2 and replacing it with a redesigned 10 credit Research Project at Stage 1 of the SACE, with options for a specialised research project for students wishing to focus on vocational, service and entrepreneurial pathways.
An optional 20 credit Research Project would also be available in Stage 2 as a stand-alone subject.
An implication of this recommendation would result in many students undertaking five Stage 2 subjects in order to receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university entrance, in line with other states and territories.
Other notable recommendations include developing industry-led framework subjects in the curriculum such as cyber security or healthy aging, and improvements relating to the recognition of Vocational Education and Training (VET).
Education Minister John Gardner welcomed the review and said the SACE Board were now working through the recommendations.
“This review, which fulfils an election commitment of the Marshall Liberal Government, is a crucial step to ensuring that we maintain an outstanding and highly regarded SACE certificate that is the envy of other jurisdictions,” said Education Minister John Gardner.
“Early discussions with the SACE Board have suggested that the changes to Research Project would be feasible for SACE Stage 1 students in 2021, with the potential for voluntary early adopter schools making the move in 2020.
“I note that Recommendation 9 of the review, which seeks to remove all VET Certificate III subjects from counting towards a student’s accreditation for the ATAR, is not consistent with Government policy and will not be supported.
“In relation to the balance of the recommendations, the SACE Board has indicated that they would like a further period of time to give them their full consideration and provide further advice to the Government. The Government will therefore provide a full response to the review next year.
“This Government remains committed to delivering the best SACE possible and to strengthening vocational pathways for our students.
“I thank Ms Johnson for conducting this review, providing thorough consultation opportunities, and delivering a detailed and well researched report for the Government and SACE Board to consider.”
The full SACE Review is can be downloaded here.