May 5, 2020

IRU paper: Year 12 outcomes and university selection under COVID

The IRU has published a short paper on the impact of COVID-19 on Year 12 school outcomes and the challenges this creates for university selection of the 2020 school leaver cohort.

COVID-19 has forced each of Australia’s school systems to teach most students from home for much of Term 1. There has been much concern about the impact on students’ year 11 and 12 studies and for the transition to post-school study, especially in university.

With the COVID-19 environment under control, it is likely most schools will be back in practice during term 2 and for the rest of the year.  Further COVID-19 outbreaks could change this, at least for schools in affected areas.

The IRU has consistently argued that all Australians need to complete school and then progress to tertiary education that suits their aspirations and capabilities. Our response to COVID-19 must support each person to do to ensure the best spring back from COVID-19.

The challenge is not how to assess Year 12 in 2020 or how to create an ATAR. The challenge is how to ensure the education each person receives meets expectations for Year 12, without any set of students suffering greater disruption than the group as a whole.