Hoxton Park High School’s Ziyyan Ali, Layla Harb, Danni McQuggan, Braxton Rokotuku and Ahmad Maleki will be among the first cohort to be tracked after the HSC. Picture: Richard Dobson
Hoxton Park High School’s Ziyyan Ali, Layla Harb, Danni McQuggan, Braxton Rokotuku and Ahmad Maleki will be among the first cohort to be tracked after the HSC. Picture: Richard Dobson

Why students will be tracked after school

Every public school pupil will be tracked for five years after they graduate and principals will be issued targets to cut the ­number of students who end up unemployed.

Under a new program to be rolled out from 2022, Department of Education bureaucrats will scrape detailed intelligence from other government departments and establish if students are unemployed, studying or working.

The following year, individual schools will be issued their own targets to lift the outcomes of their students and better align their resources to prepare them for the real world.

Hoxton Park High School students Danni McQuggan (left) and Braxton Rokotuku (right) with school careers adviser Kathy Ly. Picture: Richard Dobson
Hoxton Park High School students Danni McQuggan (left) and Braxton Rokotuku (right) with school careers adviser Kathy Ly. Picture: Richard Dobson

It aims to reduce the number of recent school graduates not in training, work or university from the 2018 level of 10.4 per cent to less than 7 per cent by 2028.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the data-reporting exercise ultimately aims to ­reduce the focus on the HSC and pure academics and steer teachers towards preparing students for the real world.

"Education should be lifelong and our system needs to be ­engaged with students after they graduate," Ms Mitchell said.

"We currently only measure the extent of a school's success by the results of students while at school, but the value of a quality education extends well ­beyond a student's final exams."

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

Secondary Principals' Council president Craig Petersen said the shift would paint a more rounded picture of school quality than simple HSC results.

"We're in favour of this ­because it will give us some ­richer data than just the HSC or the ATAR," he said.

Mr Peterson said the system might also reveal that while some disadvantaged students left in Year 10, the new data-matching program may reveal those students ultimately ended up at university.

Centre for Independent Studies Glenn Fahey welcomed the program but cautioned against blaming teachers if their students were unemployed for reasons beyond the school's control.

"The obvious risk is you can mislay accountability," he said.

"But we should always welcome additional ways of thinking about performances and aligning schools' work with the needs of students."

Hoxton Park High School Deputy Principal Amanda Genua welcomed the move to give schools more data about how students went in the real world.

"Any data post-school is useful to make sure we're on the right track," she said.

Year 10 student Ahmad Maleki said he was not sure what he wanted to do after school, but said Hoxton Park High had organised him some work experience.

"I am unsure what I want to do after school so the school lets me do Café Hoxton as work ­experience and complete my normal classes," he said.

Originally published as Why students will be tracked after school


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