The awarding of external credentials such as the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) and the Higher School Certificate (HSC) is a worthy goal for students from Years 10 through 12.
These credentials can be used as a means of accessing post-school training and other career opportunities. It is for these reasons, and to maintain the integrity of the system, that National Educational Standards & Assessment (NESA) has put in place for all schools – State and Catholic and Independent – strict guidelines regarding students’ satisfactory completion of courses. If a student is not meeting the requirements they are given what is termed a Non Award Warning (or N Award). A copy is also posted home, which outlines, 1. any issues of concern or outstanding work, and, 2. a date by which students should redeem the outcomes of the missed work.
The community’s confidence in valuable school-based credentials (RoSA and HSC) can only be maintained if high standards are consistently and equally applied to all students, regardless of their school. The N Warning system is therefore explained to students in detail. We are also aware that parents may appreciate some clarifying points in relation to this system:
- NESA requires two warnings for a student in order for an N Determination to be made by the Principal at the end of a course.
- A warning is not issued for disciplinary reasons. It is not intended as a ‘stain’ on a student’s character or record. Simply, it is a concern that the student is not meeting course outcomes and that he/she may be in danger of not satisfactorily meeting Course requirements.
- A warning is not issued for work that may be below the standard of which a student is capable. Teachers apply a grading system (A – E) associated with benchmarked standards to individual student work. It is, however, unfortunate if a student’s credential does not represent a level commensurate with their ability.
- A warning is typically given if a student does not submit, or is absent for, an assessment task, and/or, has not demonstrated sustained diligence and application in class.
- A student may not be showing sustained diligence and application for reasons such as disengagement in class activities, not completing required class or homework and/or not making a serious effort to achieve outcomes. A teacher will make this assessment over a period of weeks.
- An N Warning can also be issued for a non-serious attempt (e.g. a frivolous or inappropriate response).
- A student will be awarded zero if they do not submit or are absent for an assessment task.
- Extensions are usually not granted for tasks. Legitimate misadventure is only granted, for example, if a student has a doctor’s certificate and this has been presented to a Head Teacher at the time of or immediately following the missed task. If approved, the Head Teacher will arrange an alternative assessment.
- A zero mark for a significant assessment task (see booklet/grid) may have an impact on a student’s rank order and overall grade awarded at the end of the course.
- Redeeming a task (e.g. submitting after it was due) is required by NESA as evidence that a student has satisfied the requirements of a course.
- Redeeming a task supports ongoing learning and demonstrates that a student can achieve the intended outcomes.
- Redeeming a task does not, however, withdraw or rescind the warning, or credit the student with marks above zero if thewarning is for a missed assessment task.
- Students may appeal if they believe the appropriate process has not been followed. They cannot, however, appeal on the basis of a disputed mark. The ppeal process is outlined in their Assessment Booklet.
- Teachers do their best to avoid an N Determination for any student. hence, warnings are given. Unfortunately, N Determinations are occasionally made due to a student’s unwillingness to comply with the requirements outlined above. This upholds the currency of, and faith in, the system for all students.