26 September 2023

Pandemic reprieve for HSC students

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Higher School Certificate students (HSC) are to given more time to work on their major projects and to prepare for exams under changes to the 2021 HSC timetable.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) COVID-19 Response Committee has announced timetable changes to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on HSC students and schools.

Chair of the Committee, Peter Shergold said the decisions reflected the latest health advice and students would still receive their results, ATAR and university offers this year despite written exams being delayed by a week.

“Our priority is to limit disruption to HSC students and provide as much clarity as possible to them and their schools,” Professor Shergold said.

“This involves working with Health to identify where and when we should make changes to the HSC that allow it to continue with limited disruption,” he said.

“This is why we are taking a step-by-step approach, not rushing any decisions and making sure no changes are unnecessary, while also protecting the safety of students and the integrity and equity of this year’s HSC.”

Professor Shergold said changes to the upcoming exams included rescheduling written exams to begin one week later on 19 October; Oral language exams to 14 August to 18 September; Drama performance exams to 6-17 September; Dance performance exams to 9-13 August in regional NSW and to 13-17 September in Greater Sydney; extending the due date for the Society and Culture Personal Interest Project to 9 August; and extending the hand-in date for all major projects by two weeks, with the hand-in date for Industrial Technology extended by four weeks.

The Committee Chair said NESA would also outline a special illness and misadventure process and any other contingency arrangements needed to ensure equity and fairness for all students.

He said strict COVID-19 safety measures would be in place for all HSC exams and students would be required to follow the public health orders at the time of the exam.

Chief Executive of NESA, Paul Martin assured markers and exam supervisors that their safety, as well as the students, was the Authority’s priority.

“Markers, many of whom are teachers, have an enormous undertaking ahead of them,” Mr Martin said.

“I want to thank the teaching profession for all that they have done this year to support students,” he said.

Further information on the HSC exam timetable changes and COVID-19 safety measures can be accessed at this PS News link.

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