Full Gonski dollars needed to support students in reaching new HSC benchmarks

In welcoming today's announcement of higher literacy and numeracy standards for awarding of the HSC from 2020, Federation Acting President Gary Zadkovich said achieving those standards would require the Turnbull Government to fully fund the NSW Gonski agreement.

"It's one thing to set higher literacy and numeracy standards; it's another to ensure schools and students are funded to the extent they need to meet the standards," he said at a media conference today.

"Students, teachers and schools cannot achieve these standards without the appropriate resourcing and support," he also said.

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's media release outlined a number of changes to the HSC, which will come into effect for year 12 students in 2019.

A Science Extension course will be introduced and more students encouraged to study Mathematics at the highest possible level.

“While encouraging more students to study Maths at a higher level and offering a Science Extension course are positive steps, it is imperative that we maintain balance in the curriculum and have a complete range of learning opportunities that reflect the diverse skills and needs of all our students," Mr Zadkovich said in Federation's media release.

“A stronger emphasis on STEM subjects should not undermine the social, cultural and economic benefits gained through the study of the broad range of subjects, including those in the humanities and arts at Extension levels."

The HSC changes include "better, fairer assessments to reduce excessive student stress" 
Mr Zadkovich said steps to reduce student stress in assessments were welcomed.

Syllabuses in English, Maths, Science and History are to be updated and exam questions will encourage deeper analysis. 

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