The State Government today announced a radical shake-up of upper secondary schooling in 1993 to give thousands of future school-leavers wider career and further education opportunities.
Announcing the reforms at Belmont Senior High School today, Education Minister Kay Hallahan said they were necessary to encourage more students to complete secondary schooling to Year 12.
"It is vital that Years 11 and 12 reflect the needs and interests of all students, not just the minority who will be heading to university," she said.
"Students in upper school need to be equipped for other options, such as further education and training through TAFE or the workforce."
Mrs Hallahan said pilot programs introduced in WA schools this year to trial the new vocational emphasis would be dramatically expanded in 1993.
As part of the reforms in 1993:
· 60 schools will offer vocationally-oriented upper school courses - up from six schools this year;
· thousands of students undertaking vocationally-oriented high school subjects will be given credit in the selection process for TAFE courses once they leave school;
· four new senior campuses will be set up offering only Year 11 and 12 courses and to students wanting part-time and vocational study options;
· 25 schools will be involved in a special program to provide literacy, numeracy and study skills to students struggling to keep up in Years 11 and 12;
· 14 schools will offer an innovative work placement program for Year 11 and 12 students;
· 200 teachers will be placed in industry to gain first hand experience of the private sector workplaces;
· extra career education will be offered through a new pool of qualified secondary teachers;
· new loan-funding arrangements will be put in place to allow non-Government schools to take part in post-compulsory education reforms;
· a new curriculum for students with disabilities will be trialled to ease their transition to the workplace; and
· $100,000 will be set aside to run a year long series of workshops for parents, teachers and industry groups to keep them abreast of changes.
The Minister said work was also underway to introduce a new Certificate of Secondary Graduation - based on higher standards including better literacy and numeracy skills - to mark the milestone of completing Year 12.
Mrs Hallahan said of the 17,000 Year 12 students leaving school this year, an estimated 35 per cent were expected to secure university places.
"Clearly, Years 11 and 12 must be relevant to the needs of the 65 per cent who will be looking for alternatives to university," she said.