Year 10 exam faces relevance test

A REVIEW is under way by the NSW Board of Studies to decide if the Year 10 School Certificate is a necessary education credential.

The review was announced by State Education Minister Verity Firth and aims to modernise the School Certificate.

NSW is the only state to maintain a mandatory Year 10 end-of-year test despite changing the mandatory education age from 15 to 17.

Under the age change, students can leave school at 17, which is usually Year 11 or 12, if they have employment, training or other education to go on to.

The Year 10 certificate has been presented to students at the completion of grade 10 since 1965 and is comprised of a school assessment, along with five school tests at the end of each year.

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School principal John O’Brien said he supported the change in light of the new mandatory school leaving age.

“The certificate marks an end to mandatory learning of subjects in NSW and prepares students for the beginning of new studies,” he said.

“It sets a society expectation for when school should be finished, which is good for our society. It says we want all of our kids to be educated to a grade 12 level.”

The Board of Studies willalso look at the appearance of the certificate and what information it provides to students, families and potential emp-loyers.

Mr O’Brien said he had many students who were inv-olved in extracurricular activities like surf lifesaving and volunteering that should be acknowledged.

“I support the broadeningof the School Certificate toinclude community projects students have been involved in. We have students who are involved in volunteering or have a St John first-aid certificate. I think this should be acknowledged,” he said.

The introduction of NAPLAN testing in grade 9 has also prompted the statewide review. A report is expected to be delivered at the end of the year.



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