New pathway to high school graduation in WA

Stock image.
Stock image.

WA high school students will have a third pathway to high school graduation starting from next year.

At the moment, to achieve a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), students must complete a minimum of five courses in Year 12.

A minimum of four must be Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) courses, or they can complete four general courses with a Certificate II or higher for a general pathway to Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Now students can select a third study pathway of five general courses to complete their WACE.

General courses are 50 subjects offered across all learning areas, including English, mathematics essential, accounting and finance, biology, human biology, chemistry and physics and align closely to ATAR courses.

The new pathway is designed to provide a middle ground for students who may not fit comfortably in either the ATAR or VET pathways to high school graduation.

“This third pathway gives students more options,” Education Minister Sue Ellery said.

“For some students, five Year 12 General courses, or a combination of General and ATAR courses will be a more appropriate preparation for their post-school pathway.

“In the past you chose ATAR courses if you wanted to go to university and VET courses if you wanted to link into training and this middle ground gives students an option for both.

“I want to see every student take the most challenging courses that they are capable of completing to maximise their future study and career options.”

The changes are a result of consultation between the School Curriculum and Standards Association and school leaders, training providers, industry, parents and students.