Students to have third study pathway to WACE

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Albany Senior High School principal Jenny Firth with Year 10 students Jake Smailes and Aurora Casilli
Camera IconAlbany Senior High School principal Jenny Firth with Year 10 students Jake Smailes and Aurora Casilli Credit: Jessica Cuthbert

Students approaching their final years of school will have a new way of gaining their WA Certificate of Education from 2021.

As announced on May 2 by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery, students starting Year 11 in 2020 will have a third option to achieve their WACE, instead of the existing two.

Currently, students can choose the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank pathway, completing a minimum of five courses in Year 12 for direct entry into university studies.

Alternatively, they can choose the Vocational Education and Training pathway and complete four general courses with a certificate II or higher to prepare for trade industries.

From next year, students will be able to select a third study pathway of five general courses to complete their WACE.

Students who choose the new general pathway can enter employment, vocational education and training or university studies. Albany Senior High School principal Jenny Firth said the change would provide more choice and security for students who were still mulling their future.

“This change will be ideal for many kids that at the end of year 10, don’t have a good idea of what they want to do,” she said.

“This general pathway provides them with that time to keep leaning and thinking about their future and still achieve WACE at the end of it.

“I am really pleased that there is a broader range of choice for students now, it gives them more flexibility, and they aren’t locked in for two years into a pathway.”

Year 10 student Aurora Casilli said she felt relieved heading into Year 11 with the new changes.

“I feel less stressed. It’s a relief because now I don’t have to sit there and pick from only the two pathways,” she said,

“As English is my second language, knowing I had to do English as an ATAR subject, I know I would struggle. Now, I have other options.”

Ms Ellery said the new pathway offered students a “middle ground”. “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,” she said.

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