Beyond ATAR – Publication

Beyond ATAR - Publication

A proposal for change 

In late 2019, the Australian Learning Lecture presented a revolutionary plan to rethink Australia’s secondary education and move beyond ATAR.

The position paper represents an extended collaboration with leading educators, academics and policy experts following ALL’s second lecture where global education leader Charles Fadel challenged Australian educators to improve the transition from school to work and study.

Beyond ATAR: a proposal for change puts forward three inter-locking recommendations to support the transition of young people from compulsory schooling. The proposals are aimed at supporting all young people to thrive in a changed world.

The proposals are:

  • to embrace the period when young people are aged 15-19 as a developmental phase of education. This would enable all learners to develop their own pathway based on their skills, knowledge and know-how.
  • that states and territories agree to work together to design a Learner Profile as a common way of representing the full range of attainments that young people gather during their transition years. Similar approaches are already underway in Hong Kong and Harvard University.
  • that tertiary education providers adopt broader, more transparent entry criteria and pathways that align with learner’s aspirations and abilities. Many providers have established alternatives or additional entry requirements to the ATAR, but the lack of consistency makes it difficult for young people to understand what they need to do.

The position paper represents an extended collaboration with leading educators, academics and policy experts following ALL’s second lecture where global education leader Charles Fadel challenged Australian educators to improve the transition from school to work and study.

The publication was written by Megan O’Connell, Sandra Milligan and Tom Bentley.  

Beyond ATAR: a proposal for change has had wide public take up and significant impact, informing The Review of Senior Secondary Pathways into Work, Further Education and Training led by an expert Panel chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC.

 

High school aged students know what they want and need out of education and they will disengage if they don’t get it. Unfortunately, the structure and delivery of education in Australia is changing far more slowly than the changing needs of students leading to serious education and social challenges in this country. Beyond ATAR: A Proposal for Change recommends sensible clear and immediate actions that can be taken to better reflect what young people want and need from education. 

Prof Adrian Piccoli, Director, Gonski Institute for Education