Making Senior Secondary School Work For All Students

Victorian students will soon have more senior secondary options to get a great education no matter what their post-school goals, with the Victorian Government announcing new pathway options to suit every student.

As part of a reform of senior secondary school pathways, legislation will be introduced into Parliament today to deliver two new options for students in their final years of school from 2023 – providing outstanding education alongside engaging workplace experiences to set students up for further education, training or employment.

The Victorian Certificate of Education Vocational Major is a new two-year vocational pathway program that will replace Intermediate and Senior VCAL and will be embedded in the VCE system.

Students enrolled in the Vocational Major will also have access to an enriched curriculum as well as relevant workplace experiences based on their career goals that will develop their real-world knowledge, and technical and transferrable skills that will set them up for further education and employment.

The Victorian Pathways Certificate will replace Foundation VCAL and is designed to support students to transition either to the VCE or to entry level VET or employment – particularly focusing on vulnerable students at risk of leaving education or students with additional needs.

Students undertaking this qualification will see a revised and enriched curriculum with more subjects and support to develop the skills, capabilities and qualities they need after their school years – whether that’s going onto further education or straight into the workforce.

The new certificates will provide all senior secondary students with access to the best aspects of both VCAL and VCE – delivering high-quality vocational and applied learning opportunities to more senior secondary students.

The new courses have been developed after extensive consultation with students, employers, educators and education experts, reflecting the aspirations and perspectives of students for excellence in all senior secondary education pathways. Consultation will continue as the new certificates are implemented.

The legislation introduced into Parliament today will allow the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority to conduct an accreditation process for the new certificate framework, facilitating a smooth transition process for senior secondary providers into the new structure.

Work to implement the certificate by 2023 delivers on a key recommendation from the Firth Review into vocational and applied learning pathways for senior secondary students – identifying the need to move quickly to develop stronger pathways for students in the coming years.

The Government is supporting every Victorian student to get the skills they need for the job they want, investing $315.5 million in senior secondary schooling reforms since 2018 to make sure the final years of secondary school deliver for students no matter what their future goals.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We’re excited to introduce these new vocational certificates, offering young people the best chance to pursue their goals and to develop well-rounded skills to succeed in further education, work and life.”

“These reforms mean students will have better support and flexibility to study what they want, alongside key academic skills that will prepare them for the jobs of the future.”