High school students in Victoria will face new maths and English standards in what the Andrews government has described as the “biggest overhaul” to the VCE in decades.
VCE and VCAL certificates will stipulate whether a student meets or exceeds the benchmarks from 2021 to try and get school leavers job ready.
The Labor government will also fund 700 expert tutors through $187 million over four years to help those struggling in years 7 and 9.
Students that score below national minimum standards in the NAPLAN tests will get the individual tutors from next year.
“This is a change that has been called for by employers for some time, and with this additional support we will give every student the opportunity to be job ready,” Education Minister James Merlino said.
It’s the biggest change to the VCE in decades.Students won’t just get study scores.They will also be marked against…
The Liberal-Nationals opposition said the new testing would come too late to help students.
“Every study I have ever read shows that you have to intervene really early, really early, to improve children’s literacy and numeracy standards,” Shadow Education Minister Tim Smith told reporters.
“The Andrews Labor government has finally admitted that we do indeed have a crisis.”
He said the announcement was a cynical election promise.
The opposition has committed to rolling out phonics checks for year 1 students to identify those struggling.
The announcement on Monday comes following a recommendation from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA), which Mr Merlino asked to investigate potential changes.
The Australian Education Union said the 700 additional tutors was a step in the right direction.
“Teachers, principals and support staff know that the more individual attention students receive, the better their educational outcomes,” Victorian president Meredith Peace said in a statement.
She said the problem was not solved by more testing, but “targeted learning support”.
“It is really difficult for teachers and schools when they can see that a child needs additional assistance and they simply do not have the resources to deliver one-on-one support or specialist help.”
The state will go to the polls on November 24.