VCE students will be able to breath easier after Education Minister James Merlino announced they would be assessed individually and any impact from COVID-19 would be reflected in their ATAR rankings.
Teachers will be asked to assess students, with school closures, long absences, significant increases in family responsibilities and physical and mental health considerations to be factored in.
He said students would receive their certificates, scores and rankings by the end of the year.
"It'll be a fair reflection of their year," Mr Merlino said in a press conference on Friday.
IN OTHER NEWS:
SPECIAL MEASURES FOR VICTORIAN YEAR 12 STUDENTS GRADUATING IN 2020
- All year 12s will be individually assessed for any adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their Australian Tertiary Admission Rank.
- The Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority will introduce a wide-ranging 'special consideration' process to calculate Victorian Certificate of Education scores.
- Exam results will be considered alongside school assessments completed prior to remote learning, estimated scores as a result of pandemic-related interruptions and the General Achievement Test (GAT) to be taken in term four.
- Individual impacts of coronavirus on students could include school closures, physical health, extra family responsibilities, difficulties with remote learning and mental illness.
- The new 'special consideration' measures are in addition to steps already taken by VCAA reducing unit 4 course content, rescheduling the GAT, extending term four and holding exams later in the year.
- The state government will provide $28.5 million for extra mental health support for students. This includes more than 1500 school staff receiving mental health training via Headspace to help identify at-risk students
- Specialist schools will receive funding for a mental health practitioner for high school-aged students.
- ATAR scores will come out later than previous years, but they will come out on the same day for all, before the end of the year.
- Education Minister James Merlino said Victorian students' ATAR results will be equivalent to those received by students in other states.
Premier Daniel Andrews released a statement early afternoon:
For Victorian students in their final years of school, as well as their parents, carers, families and teachers - this has been a year like no other.
That's why the Victorian Government is today announcing more support for VCE students and further mental health resources for young people struggling with this pandemic.
Every Victorian student will be individually assessed, and any adverse impacts of coronavirus will be reflected in ATAR rankings as part of a wide-ranging process to ensure fair and accurate results in this unprecedented year of school - taking a huge mental load off students and their families as we head towards exams.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) will introduce a wide-ranging "Consideration of Educational Disadvantage" process to calculate VCE scores, taking into account disruptions to learning caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This new process will mean the only thing impacted students need to focus on istheir exams - and doing their best.
In a normal year, individualstudents are assessed forspecial consideration on a case by case basis. This year,schools will provide the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) with information on every single one of their students.
These reforms will reach every Year 12 VCE student in the state, ensuring the experiences of the class of 2020 are factored into their results.
The VCAA will consider a range of data alongside exam results, including a student's expected achievement levels before the impact of coronavirus, school assessments completed prior to remote and flexible learning, the General Achievement Test (GAT) and a range of statistical analyses to calculate final results.
This may include assessing the individual impact of coronavirus on each student, including school closures, direct impacts on the health of a student, students dealing with substantial extra family responsibilities, ongoing issues with remote learning and mental health challenges.
This will then be used to calculate a student's final VCE results and ATAR rank, ensuring that our kids' final results take into account not only their performance in an exam - but their courage and commitment in the face of huge adversity.
This adds to the steps already taken by the VCAA, such as reducing course content for Unit 4, rescheduling the General Achievement Test (GAT) and extending Term 4 for VCE students with exams to be held later in the year.
The ATARs received by Victorian students will be equivalent to those received by students in other states.
To help students struggling with their mental health, the Government will also provide $28.5 million to ensure students can receive more support. More than 1,500 school staff will undergo additional mental health training in partnership with headspace, to help identify at-risk students as remote learning continues.
All specialist schools with secondary aged students will also receive funding to recruit a school-based mental health practitioner, who will build provide wrap-around support to students and families.
The Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot will continue and expand to include an additional 15 new schools.
Participating schools employ a Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator with teaching qualifications, to build the capability of school staff to better identify and support students with mental health concerns.
The successful Navigator program, which supports young people to re-engage with school will also be expanded to reach more students and ensure even during coronavirus, they remain connected to their education.
The LOOKOUT program will also be expanded to tackle disengagement from education of highly vulnerable students in out-of-home care, and other young Victorians who are at risk.
This is in addition to Victorian Government's support for Orygen's new digital mental health platform for young people - MOST - an online tool which allows young people to access tailored online therapy and peer support, when and where they need it.
The Government has invested over $87 million into supporting the mental health of all Victorians to get through the pandemic - and continuesto work with service providersto consider additionalsupport as ourstate faces Stage 3 and 4 restrictions.
"The bottom line is that every student has been impacted in some way by this pandemic - the challenge is to make sure that it doesn't decide their future," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"My message to VCE students is clear: you concentrate on doing your best, and we'll take care of everything else."
Education minister James Merlino said: "I know the very real stress and anxiety that many students and their parents are feeling. Today's announcement will mean one less thing to worry about.
"With this additional support, we'll make sure every student at every age has the support to be their best."
Meanwhile, another 11 Victorians are dead and 450 infected with coronavirus.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the deaths on Friday, which take the state toll to 181 and the national toll to 266.