More kids will fail the HSC in NSW under changes introduced by the Baird government

Photo: Getty/ Joe Raedle

Higher standards for literacy and numeracy for Higher School Certificate (HSC) students will be introduced by the NSW government in 2020.

Under reforms announced today by state education minister Adrian Piccoli, year 9 students will have to meet the new standard with a minimum of band 8 results when they sit NAPLAN tests.

NSW already has the highest standards for the HSC in Australia, and the changes mean that around 5% of the 70,000 year 12 students – around 3,500 – who graduated with the HSC last year, would have failed under the government’s new criteria.

The minister said the reforms are the result of feedback from parents, educators, business and the community.

“These changes will strengthen the integrity and international standing of the HSC and better prepare our students for work, training, university and for life after school,” Piccoli said.

Other HSC reforms coming into effect for year 12 students in 2019, include “better, fairer” assessments designed to reduce student stress; a science extension course, and encouragement for students to study higher levels of maths; updates to the syllabuses in English, Maths, Science and History; and updates to exam questions to encourage deeper analysis.

It’s the first update to the HSC in 17 years.

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