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In full: Revolutionary plan proposed to look beyond ATAR

A revolutionary plan to rethink Australia’s secondary education and move beyond ATAR has been unveiled by the Australian Learning Lecture (ALL).

Beyond ATAR: a proposal for change puts forward three inter-locking recommendations to support the transition of young people from compulsory schooling, and include treating young people aged 15-19; designing a Learner Profile; and for tertiary education to adopt broader, more transparent entry criteria.

The position paper represents an extended collaboration with leading educators, academics and policy experts following ALL’s second lecture where global education leader Charles Fadel challenged Australian educators to improve the transition from school to work and study.

The position paper challenges ATAR because it is outmoded and does not allow for development and recognition of skills needed to thrive in a changing world.

It is a double disadvantage to young people who are not confident learners and it does not recognise students with a ‘jagged’ profile who excel in certain areas while performing adequately in others. We need to start measuring what counts for young people’s future.

Together these proposals are a significant change for the education system – and an opportunity to ensure that each young person is supported with up to date information to develop a map to the future based on their interests and strengths.

Beyond ATAR has been written by Megan O’Connell (Honorary Senior Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education), Dr Sandra Milligan (Director and Enterprise Professor, Assessment Research Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne), and Tom Bentley (Executive Director, Policy and Impact, RMIT University).