Take the pressure off Year 12 students. #NoATAR2020 during COVID-19.

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Let us call for ALL senior exams and the ATAR system in Australia to be cancelled for 2020 due to the disruption of the coronavirus.

Educators have long been looking at ways of redesigning the ATAR system, Ref. Beyond ATAR – A Proposal for change. We are the only country in the world to rank students this way. What better time to kill the ATAR off than now, when an already demonstrably inequitable system is made even more so due to disruption, remote schooling and inequality in technology provision of on-line learning.

Students are under significantly increased stress as a result of this pandemic, on top of the ‘normal’ stress experienced by year 12s. Statistics show that already 1 in 7 students experience a significant mental health issue, how will these rates rise in light of the current health crisis? LINK  

Only 26% of Australian students currently enter an undergraduate degree based on their ATAR. Can you believe that?? LINK  Why put ALL students through this stressful process when only a quarter of students use it to gain entry into a tertiary course.

I propose senior students still demonstrate their competence in each subject, assessed by their teacher and authenticated by another qualified subject teacher. Universities have time to develop their own criteria for entrance, including a "learning and life portfolio" along with any prerequisite subjects as happens in the USA. This pandemic will significantly impact Australia as a destination for international students, so there will be ample space at Uni for more local students, so why do we need to be so harsh?

Let us show our young people some humanity and compassion by relieving them of this stressful and needless burden.