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An Australian Certificate of Education - Moving towards national consistency.

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Media Release


13 May 2005 MIN MC 1 /05

I am pleased to announce that the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has been selected to develop options for an Australian Certificate of Education.

The study, to be led by Professor Geoff Masters, CEO of ACER, will analyse and report on:

● existing arrangements for the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in all

Australian states and territories; ● overseas examples of Senior Secondary Certificate of Education systems;

● the International Baccalaureate Programme; and

● examine the use of general aptitude tests in senior secondary schools.

The Australian Government has now made a common school starting age by 2010 a condition of school funding along with national benchmark testing in key learning areas.

The next step is to drive a nationally and internationally recognised and agreed system for assessing the academic standards of students completing year 12.

The crippling impact of 8 different educational systems within one nation must be addressed.

Currently we have different Year 12 certificates in each state and territory. There are differences in completion requirements, curriculum, the number of hours of study, compulsory subjects, and subject choice and patterns.

There are also major differences in how student achievement is assessed, whether

through external examinations or school based assessment, and reporting in the Year 12 certificate itself.

It cannot be said with any confidence at all that the standard of a year 12 chemistry exam in Adelaide is the same as that of Sydney.

Defence families have traditionally paid the cruel price for educational parochialism. Businesses are also suffering due to the reluctance of key personnel to move interstate, fearful of jeopardising their children’s education.

This is an important first step towards implementing an Australian Certificate of Education, and I look forward to receiving the results of ACER’s work by the end of this year.

Media Contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office: Yaron Finkelstein 0414 927 663 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Laila Lacis0412 040 034