Schools would be well aware of the requirements for student reports under section 59 of the Australian Education Regulation 2013 (Cth) which are one of the ongoing conditions for Commonwealth funding. In particular, sub-section (4) requires –
For a student who is in any of years 1 to 10, the report must:
(a) give an accurate and objective assessment of the student’s progress and achievement, including an assessment of the student’s achievement:
(i) against any available national standards; and
(ii) relative to the performance of the student’s peer group; and
(iii) reported as A, B, C, D or E (or on an equivalent 5 point scale) for each subject studied, clearly defined against specific learning standards; or
(b) contain the information that the Minister determines is equivalent to the information in paragraph (a).
All schools would have received the welcome advice from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) that the Minister of Education, Dan Tehan, signed a determination on 8 May to allow approved authorities some reporting flexibility for Semester One, 2020.
The determination states that:
In 2020 for the first of the reports (Semester One, 2020) required under Section 59 of the Regulation to be provided to each person responsible for a student in any of years 1 to 10, the following information is equivalent to the information in paragraph 59(4)(a):
Information which gives an accurate and objective assessment of the student’s progress and achievement, including an assessment of the student’s achievement:
o against any available national standards; and
o relative to the performance of the student’s peer group.
Under this determination, Christian schools may choose, for Semester One, 2020 to report on student progress and achievement largely as usual, but without the usual requirement to report on an A-E or equivalent five point scale for each subject studied. This approach allows schools much welcomed flexibility to decide on the best approach in the circumstances to provide the required information for the purposes of reporting in Semester One, including the assessment of achievement relative to the student’s peer group.
For Semester Two, all approved authorities will be required to provide student reports in line with the usual requirements.
Schools wishing to take advantage of this flexibility have been asked to notify DESE by Tuesday 9 June.