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Australian Baccalaureate

A WORLD CLASS QUALIFICATION FOR A WORLD CLASS EDUCATION
The Gillard Labor Government will develop a new senior qualification, the Australian Baccalaureate. The Australian Baccalaureate will be a new voluntary qualification that provides senior students with access to a credential of international standing – similar to national certificates like the British ‘A’ Levels and French Baccalaureate, the German and Finnish Arbitur, and the certificates of Australia’s regional neighbours. The Australian Baccalaureate will sit alongside existing senior secondary school qualifications as a voluntary credential that will build off the National Curriculum. The introduction of the Australian Baccalaureate would naturally follow the implementation of the phase one Australian Curriculum subjects in the senior secondary years, expected to follow on from the first substantial cohort of Australian students commencing National Curriculum courses in 2015 or 2016, and would potentially recognise both traditional academic and vocational education and training courses. 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 achievement standards, consistent robust information about school performance on MySchool, and the 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 great diversity amongst them, including:  Requirements for completion e.g. permitted subject choice, number of required units of study, number of required hours of study for each unit.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

2  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 is included on the certificate.  How Vocational Education and Training (VET) is incorporated as separate subjects or integrated and how VET achievements are explained on the certificate. While, this diversity has positive aspects it results in a lack of comparability of student results and difficulties for students moving interstate or overseas. Further, internationally, Australia’s senior secondary certification arrangements do not have the recognition of, for example, the British ‘A’ levels, the French Baccalaureate, the German and Finnish Arbitur, or the certificates of regional neighbours such as China, 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 national senior 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 the senior National Curriculum. ACARA will develop the Australian Baccalaureate in partnership with the Australasian Curriculum, Assessment and Certification Authorities (ACACA) – the bodies responsible for curriculum assessment and certification in States and Territories. The Australian Baccalaureate will leverage work on the senior secondary national curriculum and achievements standards that are currently being developed by ACARA. The development of the Australian Baccalaureate will be the subject of a detailed consultation process with educators, parents, students, training providers, employers and community members. All community members will have an opportunity to have their 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 become nationally 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.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

3 It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will operate within and alongside existing State and Territory certification and credentialing systems. It will not replace them. The Baccalaureate would be voluntary, with students electing to be certified for the award, similar to the way students can currently elect to undertake the International Baccalaureate. What does this mean for students? It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will provide an option for high performing students who want an internationally recognised qualification that measures a wide variety of achievements. It is envisaged that the Australian Baccalaureate will be able to be undertaken alongside existing State based qualifications, drawing on the National Curriculum.

Financial Implications ($m, underlying cash balance)
2010-11 0 2011-12 0 2012-13 0 2013-14 -2.5 Total -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 class education system, so every Australian child can reach their full potential. This includes an unprecedented investment of $63.7 billion in Australian schools over four years, almost double the amount provided by the former Liberal-National Coalition Government. 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, and thrive in the information-rich workplaces of the future. We have established the MySchool website which provides nationally comparable data on school performance for the first time ever – providing transparent information on each school’s literacy and numeracy results. The MySchool website has had over three million visits, and has created a new national conversation about school performance and student outcomes. We have laid the foundations for a world class education system and the Gillard Labor Government is determined to continue driving improved student outcomes, so all Australian children are equipped with the skills they need for a successful future.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

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THE COALITION’S RECORD
As a former Cabinet Minister, Tony Abbott was part of the Coalition Government that:  Neglected schools, investing only $33 billion over four years. The Gillard Labor Government is providing $63.7 billion over four years – almost double this amount.  Talked about a national curriculum but failed to deliver.  Focused on putting flagpoles in schools, not on improving outcomes for students. If he is elected Prime Minister, Mr Abbott has already made clear that he would cut almost $3.2 billion from the education system. This includes cutting the $425 million Teacher Quality National Partnership which is currently delivering:  Increased local decision making in schools across the country including the popular Independent Public Schools trial in Western Australia with 34 schools commencing this year.  High achieving non-education university graduates to the most disadvantaged secondary schools under the Teach for Australia program.  New Teaching Excellence scholarships for pre-service and existing teachers. Mr Abbott’s cuts to education will also mean:  120,000 students across the nation will miss out on a computer in 2300 schools and 670,000 computers that are already funded will become useless and out of date without funding to upgrade and replace them.  Over 1,800 secondary schools and 1.2 million students will miss out on a chance to access a Trade Training Centre and start learning a trade at school.
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.

Julia Gillard and Labor

Let’s move Australia Forward

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