HSC guide shifts focus

Joan Lemaire
Senior Vice President

New HSC guide focuses more on support and school-based negotiation.

The Department's Supporting the Higher School Certificate guide has been revised following concerns raised by Federation.

The union pursued concerns raised by many teachers that the emphasis in any guide aimed at supporting the HSC should focus more on support for students and teachers than monitoring.

The union called for school-based processes and procedures supporting and monitoring the HSC requirements to be developed by negotiation. The negotiation of these procedures and processes should take into account workload demands on teachers and students, avoiding unnecessary or excessive documentation and/or duplication of documents, processes or procedures.

The revised Supporting the Higher School Certificate guide, like the previous guide, is not mandatory. It states that it is intended "to provide models of processes which schools might use as the basis of negotiated, whole school processes and procedures". The guide states that the processes which are developed to meet the HSC monitoring requirements should be "time efficient and managed to provide support to teachers, students and families".

The requirements for monitoring the HSC 2015 have not changed and are set out in a Memorandum to Principals in School Biz on October 10 which includes four attachments:

  1. requirements of the Educational Act 1990
  2. pattern of study requirements checklist for the 2015 HSC
  3. school-based monitoring processes for HSC requirements for 2015
  4. pro forma for the principal to sign confirming that:
  • appropriate HSC information has been disseminated to all HSC candidates, their teachers and their parents
  • courses are taught in accordance with Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards; and Department of Education and Communities requirements
  • procedures are in place to ensure students are entered correctly for the HSC
  • the above have been discussed with all head teachers and supervisors.

There is no requirement for head teachers or teachers to sign the pro forma statement or a similar document.

Federation has not endorsed the revised Supporting the Higher School Certificate guide but recognises that it focuses more on support and school-based negotiation.