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What are the barriers to the New Success?

ALL has been working to understand more about the barriers to helping students achieve The New Success as part of its impact program.

Our research and discussions with educators and education researchers reveal a range of barriers – in addition to ATAR - that impact students of all ages. They include:



Focus on test scores limiting measures of success particularly on skills and character – the very things that students need for future work and life.




A move to measuring skills through broader assessments focusing on skills and character, as well as scores.

ACER: multiple measures are better than single measures.

Broader measures of success to monitor students’ capabilities.

Poor diffusion of best practice in the teacher profession

Teachers given more hours to watching and learning from other teachers; designing learning, and focusing on personalised learning sharing proven approaches.

A concentration on a heavy content-laden curriculum which encourages memorisation rather than higher cognitive skills and problem-solving.

Personalised learning supported by diagnostic data.

Parents who continue to look at learning through their lens of experience of schools.


Parents who understand what success looks like today and tomorrow and who understand the concept of lifelong learning.

Limited entrance requirements to university (such as the ranked ATAR).

Universities that broaden their entrance requirements to reflect the capabilities that matter to future success.


More use of portfolios, face to face interviews.

Short-term planning (based on election cycles) and a focus on funding which is not evidence-based.

Politicians with the understanding and courage to plan and fund long term