One major university has moved to reassure final-year school students the coronavirus-induced disruptions to their education won’t affect their ability to move on to higher education.
The Australian National University will use the year 11 results of students applying for undergraduate spots to make them an offer in August.
Vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt hopes the move will give thousands of school leavers some certainty.
“With the unprecedented disruption and challenges we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is not panning out how any of us expected,” he said.
Australian National University will use year 11 results to decide who it admits into courses next year.Source:Supplied
The university’s admission scheme already uses year 11 results to predict how students will perform in their final year of school and make conditional mid-year offers, but for 2021 places it will make 2500 unconditional offers in August.
“While we cannot guarantee everyone a place, we encourage everyone who thinks they might want to study at ANU to apply now,” Prof Schmidt said.
“We will do everything we can to help you get here.”
ANU’s move comes ahead of leaders considering updated health advice about how schools should operate during the second term and what can be done to help year 12 students.
National Cabinet – the Prime Minister and state and territory leaders – met at 12.30pm today.
Education ministers agreed on Tuesday there should be no “year 13” repeating for students now at the end of their secondary schooling.
Instead, final exams will likely be delayed to December or maybe January.
States have also started to advise parents the majority of students will learn from home for term 2.
ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry said on Wednesday parents would have to register if their children could not stay home and needed to be in a school. She also urged flexibility and offered practical advice to parents looking to help their children adapt to learning from home.
“While routines are important for a child’s mental health and wellbeing, there is no need for families to stick to a rigid, timetabled 9am to 3pm school day,” she said.
“For example, early-rising children might like to get started on their tasks first thing in the morning, while others might start later in the day.”
Leaders will take the advice of education ministers and health officials about what the rest of the school year might look like.
So far, the health advice has been there is no risk to children from attending school, but there are some concerns about the health and safety requirements for teachers.