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Students ‘deterred from excellence’ to game the ATAR system

A federal review of further education and employment pathways has called for the importance of the ATAR to be minimised.

The Looking to the Future report recommends senior students receive a ‘learner profile’ to acknowledge non-academic skills.

Chancellor of Western Sydney University and review chairman Peter Shergold told Deborah Knight there are often better ways to learn essential “life skills and attributes” outside of the classroom.

“All of these … attributes that you need to learn to be an adult … you just don’t learn it from the academic subjects which tend to be the focus of ATAR.”

He said students are often discouraged from enrolling in vocational or advanced subjects – subjects which don’t ‘scale’ as well – in order to “game the system”.

“Anything that actually deters you from excellence, I think, is not right.”

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Image: Getty