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Higher School Certificate

The curriculum for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) provided by a registered and accredited non-government school must meet the requirements of the Education Act 1990 (NSW).

The rules and procedures for the HSC are detailed on the ACE website and NESA Official Notices. To qualify for the HSC, students must satisfactorily complete a Preliminary pattern of study comprising at least 12 units and a HSC pattern of study comprising at least 10 units. Both patterns must include at least:

  • six units from NESA Developed Courses
  • two units from a NESA Developed Course in English
  • three courses of two units value or greater (either NESA Developed or NESA Endorsed Courses)
  • four subjects.

Schools need to refer to the rules and procedures in the ACE website and NESA Official Notices to ensure the eligibility of students for the HSC credential and for details of school responsibilities in relation to the requirements for the award of the HSC, including satisfactory completion of a course and rules concerning attendance and appeals.

Evidence of capacity to comply

A proposed non-government school must have in place policies and procedures to monitor the compliance of each student with the requirements for eligibility for the award of the HSC.

A proposed non-government school must provide evidence of:

  • the total number of hours to be allocated to each Preliminary and HSC course
  • courses of study for each student each year that comply with a pattern of study for Year 11 and Year 12 as described on the ACE website for candidates for the Higher School Certificate (ACE 8005)
  • the scope and sequence of proposed learning units mapped against the content and outcomes of the relevant NESA syllabus for each course
  • resources and equipment that will be available for each KLA
  • assessment policies and procedures that comply with the requirements of the ACE website and NESA Official Notices. These policies should include statements of school procedures relating to the allocation of grades in each preliminary course.

The assessment policies should include statements of the proposed procedures relating to:

  • organisational details of the proposed assessment program for each course, giving the number and types of assessment tasks, components and weightings, and the scheduling of the tasks
  • marking, recording and reporting student achievement in assessment tasks
  • administrative arrangements associated with absence from an assessment task, late submission of tasks due to illness or misadventure, malpractice and invalid or unreliable tasks
  • student appeals against assessment rankings
  • 'N' determinations
  • providing students with written advice about the school's requirements for assessment in each course.
  • confirmation that the school will have policies for disability provisions in accordance with the ACE website and NESA Official Notices
  • an overview of the proposed process for reporting student achievement
  • an overview of the proposed process for maintaining evidence relating to the standard of teaching, that includes: 
    • consistency between the various elements of the school’s curriculum including NESA syllabus outcomes, scope and sequence, teaching programs, assessment records and schedules and samples of student work
    • records of teacher reflection/evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning activities
    • records of the progressive achievement of students over time
    • records of the school’s analysis of student achievement data to inform teaching and learning
    • records of teaching strategies to meet the learning needs of students across a variety of student backgrounds and learning profiles, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • an overview of the proposed process for maintaining evidence relating to student engagement in learning, that includes records of:
    • students’ learning progress over time
    • teaching strategies and programs designed and implemented to meet the learning needs of students across a variety of student backgrounds and learning profiles, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

A proposed non-government school must also have a plan for demonstrating the quality of the educational program.

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