Review compressed
delivery model for HSC

Mary Fogarty
Research Officer

Inquiry should look at disadvantage faced by students doing major works

Federation is calling on the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) to establish an inquiry into the implementation of the compressed delivery model of the HSC in schools.

The union’s May 30 Council meeting determined terms of reference must address curriculum delivery, the impact on pedagogy, student learning outcomes, and the research base underpinning the model.

In a compressed delivery model, a student’s total pattern of study requirements for the HSC are usually completed over a conventional two-year period but the Preliminary and HSC components of a Stage 6 course (including the HSC examination) are completed in one calendar year. Currently, this means three Stage 6 courses are delivered in the first year and another three in the second year.

Council identified the following issues need to be considered by the inquiry:

  • any disadvantage that students might suffer in relation to the significant reduction of hours to complete major works in subjects such as Visual Arts, Technical and Applied Studies and music
  • whether the reduction of hours impacts on the viability of subjects such as Extension English
  • the impact on students transferring into, or out of, schools undertaking the compressed model who may face a 12-month delay in completing their HSC if the transfer is between a school offering a traditional HSC delivery to the compressed model or vice versa.

An inquiry would provide a valuable opportunity to analyse the operation of the compressed model in a range of schools in order to identify advantages and/or disadvantages for students, staff, the individual school and the public school system.

The compressed delivery model impacts on the work organisation of a high school, particularly where it commences prior to day 1, term 1 of year 11. BOSTES requires schools seeking to adopt the compressed delivery model to submit an application with evidence that students are not gaining any time advantage over students undertaking the traditional delivery model. BOSTES also requires schools to ensure that all syllabus outcomes and course study requirements including indicative hours are met.

Compressed delivery of the HSC also impacts on school organisation and timetabling.

Clause 18 of the teachers’ salaries and conditions award allows schools to adopt an “alternative work organisation” subject to the conditions set out in the clause. These conditions include that the variation to the school’s work organisation is undertaken “in order to improve students’ learning conditions, and/or to improve teachers’ working conditions”, “can be implemented within the current staffing entitlement”, “has the concurrence of the principal and the majority of the staff’, “the teachers directly affected by the proposal concur”, and “consultation with staff, parents, students and relevant community groups is undertaken where appropriate”.