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Subject: Completion/Graduation Certificate

From: reg.allen@tqa.tas.gov.au

Date: May 16, 2006

Senior secondary principals have been informed about the progress towards the development of a completion/graduation certificate.

The following is a summary of the information provided:

We have gathered feedback about the issues raised in the draft consultation document setting out possible standards for the completion/graduation certificate from written responses and from meetings with schools/colleges, teachers, year 10 students, employers, community organisations and stakeholders.

There are, of course, many different views, with features that are seen as very important by some being regarded as serious flaws by others.

We are analysing all the information and views we have received in terms of risks, rather than in terms of majority opinion - an issue may appear only once in one submission but identifies a risk to the successful introduction and longer-term maintenance of the completion/graduation certificate.

Risks we have identified so far include:

- the divergence of views between those who believe strongly that there should not be a completion/graduation qualification and those who believe that there is great value in it

- failure of the completion/graduation qualification if it is introduced too quickly and without widespread community awareness

- effects of having a qualification requiring students to meet or exceed certain standards on the long-established system of senior secondary education in Tasmania where teachers aim to ensure that all students receive a certificate showing success

- the tension between setting standards high enough to appear to be and to be worthwhile and low enough to be in principle achievable by most young persons, if they work hard enough and are well-supported

- lack of credibility amongst employers and the community of a certificate that states students have met or exceeded standards if there are too many instances where this seems not to have happened

- any impact on schools/colleges and teachers of processes ensuring credibility and integrity of certification that students have met literacy, numeracy and ICT requirements

- inappropriate alignment between developments in the senior secondary curriculum and the requirements of the completion/graduation qualification.

We expect to complete these analyses and to develop firm proposals for a completion/graduation qualification soon. These proposals will form the basis for the next stage of consultations, which we will use to inform the final proposal.

I would like to thank everyone from your school/college who has been involved in the thoughtful and detailed feedback we have had so far and to encourage further discussion.

Dr Reg Allen Chief Executive Officer Tasmanian Qualifications Authority
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