Avoid false hopes

I agree that every student should have an opportunity to aspire to a first-class education.

However, they should not be given false hopes by lowering the benchmarks, which is unfair to the high achievers. Some people do not develop as fast as others develop and often reach their potential later in life by other means.

Everyone is different: some are gifted with talents such as artists and craftsmen. Others decide to enter the medical profession, or perhaps science, become teachers, or take degrees in engineering.

Some choose to work within their comfort zone, working as labourers, trades assistants, perhaps in retail or as a factory worker. They all make a valuable contribution to society.

Higher education is not for everybody. Many in Year 10 are better suited to the trades and should be encouraged to pursue this avenue.

There always has and always will be a percentage of young people who object to fitting into society. This group should not remain at school as the present system demands. They are disruptive to any class.

They should be conscripted into community work, such as assisting the needy and environmental work: unemployment/Newstart benefits would not be an option.

A 12-month gap year would be mandatory before entering university. Tax earned during the gap would be credited against entrance fees, reducing reliance on the HECS-HELP loans. The present HECS-HELP fees outstanding debt is $26 billion; $6.5 billion is regarded as ‘bad debt’.