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Australian Baccalaureate Fact Sheet

Australian Baccalaureate Fact Sheet

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Published by: AustralianLabor on Aug 09, 2010
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09/20/2010

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1Julia Gillard and Labor
Let’s move Australia Forward
 
A WORLD CLASS QUALIFICATION FOR A WORLD CLASS EDUCATION
The Gillard Labor Government will develop a new senior qualification, the AustralianBaccalaureate.The Australian Baccalaureate will be a new voluntary qualification that provides seniorstudents with access to a credential of international standing
 –
similar to national
certificates like the British ‘A’ Levels and French Baccalaureate, the German and FinnishArbitur, and the certificates of Australia’s regional neighbours.
The Australian Baccalaureate will sit alongside existing senior secondary schoolqualifications as a voluntary credential that will build off the National Curriculum.The introduction of the Australian Baccalaureate would naturally follow theimplementation of the phase one Australian Curriculum subjects in the seniorsecondary years, expected to follow on from the first substantial cohort of Australianstudents commencing National Curriculum courses in 2015 or 2016, and wouldpotentially recognise both traditional academic and vocational education and trainingcourses.
Why we need an Australian Baccalaureate
The Gillard Labor Government is delivering an education system that is world class,rolling out a new National Curriculum with nationally agreed content and achievementstandards, consistent robust information about school performance on
MySchool 
, andthe largest school modernisation program in
Australia’s
history.However there is limited national consistency in senior qualifications and certificates.There are currently nine separate senior secondary school certificates and there is greatdiversity amongst them, including:
 
Requirements for completion e.g. permitted subject choice, number of requiredunits of study, number of required hours of study for each unit.
 
Australian Baccalaureate
 
2Julia Gillard and Labor
Let’s move Australia Forward
 
 
Processes for the award of certificates and modes of assessment e.g. examination,moderated school-based assessment.
 
Reporting of achievement e.g. grades, scores and/or achievement bands.
 
Specification of standards in each jurisdiction and whether this information isincluded on the certificate.
 
How Vocational Education and Training (VET) is incorporated as separate subjects orintegrated and how VET achievements are explained on the certificate.While, this diversity has positive aspects it results in a lack of comparability of studentresults and difficulties for students moving interstate or overseas.Further, i
nternationally, Australia’s senior secondary certification arrangements do not
have the recogniti
on of, for example, the British ‘A’ levels, the French Baccalaureate,
the German and Finnish Arbitur, or the certificates of regional neighbours such asChina, Hong Kong, and Singapore.The Gillard Labor Government is driving the delivery of a national education system,through a National Curriculum and national teaching standards. A high quality nationalsenior qualification is the next logical phase of this reform.
How will the Australian Baccalaureate be developed?
The development of the Baccalaureate will be led by the Australian Curriculum,Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and will follow the development of thesenior National Curriculum.ACARA will develop the Australian Baccalaureate in partnership with the AustralasianCurriculum, Assessment and Certification Authorities (ACACA)
 –
the bodies responsiblefor curriculum assessment and certification in States and Territories.The Australian Baccalaureate will leverage work on the senior secondary nationalcurriculum and achievements standards that are currently being developed by ACARA.The development of the Australian Baccalaureate will be the subject of a detailedconsultation process with educators, parents, students, training providers, employersand community members. All community members will have an opportunity to havetheir say about what the Australian Baccalaureate should involve.We will work to develop a certificate structure and achievement standards which are
benchmarked against the world’s best systems and standards
and which will becomenationally consistent.
What is envisaged for the Australian Baccalaureate
The Australian Baccalaureate will be voluntary and will build off the National
Curriculum. It will benchmark students’ attainment nationally, providing a credential of 
international standing.
 
3Julia Gillard and Labor
Let’s move Australia Forward
 
It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will operate within and alongsideexisting State and Territory certification and credentialing systems. It will not replacethem.The Baccalaureate would be voluntary, with students electing to be certified for theaward, similar to the way students can currently elect to undertake the InternationalBaccalaureate.
What does this mean for students?
It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will provide an option for highperforming students who want an internationally recognised qualification thatmeasures a wide variety of achievements.It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will be able to be undertaken alongsideexisting State based qualifications, drawing on the National Curriculum.
Financial Implications ($m, underlying cash balance)
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 Total
0 0 0 -2.5 -2.5
The cost of this new policy will be fully offset over the forward estimates, consistent
with the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to return the Budget to surplus in
three years.
Labor’s record
The Gillard Labor Government has taken unparalleled action to build a world classeducation system, so every Australian child can reach their full potential.This includes an unprecedented investment of $63.7 billion in Australian schools overfour years, almost double the amount provided by the former Liberal-National CoalitionGovernment.We are delivering a national school curriculum to equip young Australians with the skills,knowledge, and capabilities they need to effectively engage and prosper in society, andthrive in the information-rich workplaces of the future.We have established the MySchool website which provides nationally comparable dataon school performance for the first time ever
 –
providing transparent information on
each school’s literacy and nu
meracy results. The MySchool website has had over threemillion visits, and has created a new national conversation about school performanceand student outcomes.We have laid the foundations for a world class education system and the Gillard LaborGovernment is determined to continue driving improved student outcomes, so allAustralian children are equipped with the skills they need for a successful future.

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