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Small group partnerships for school-based assessment

A school with five or fewer enrolments in any unit 3 and 4 study must form a small group partnership with another school for statistical moderation of school-based assessments. It is up to the school to initiate the formation of the partnership and ensure that it operates effectively.

Successful partnerships have consistent interaction between schools. Schools may use any method of interaction which is appropriate. These include telephone, fax, post, email and face-to-face meetings.

Essential documents

Schools must keep copies of the following documents at the school:

  • A single list of cross-marked scores for all the students in the partnership (from all schools involved).
  • A copy of the partner school's VASS printout of the assessments for all school-based assessment tasks.
  • A Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) partnership agreement form signed by the school principal of each school involved in the partnership. Each school is required to keep their own copy of the completed form.
  • A list of dates of meetings/contacts between schools.
  • A copy of agreed assessment criteria.

Best practice

Best practice for partnerships include:

  • School principals being informed of the initial formation of the partnership, the ongoing maintenance of the partnership and the resultant cross-marked, school-based assessment scores.
  • School principals being informed of any conflict that may arise and the measures taken to resolve any issues.
  • Teachers in the partnership making contact as early in the school year as possible and keeping written records of meetings, telephone calls, email and any other appropriate interaction.
  • The initial meeting covering the requirements of the study design, chosen assessment tasks and the assessment criteria for each task or outcome. Teachers are also required to agree on the procedures for ensuring comparability of assessment tasks and the schedule and marking schemes of any tasks to be done in common.
  • Each school marking their own student's work and selecting student work for cross-marking.
  • Each school entering the scores for its own students on VASS.
  • Each school sending a copy of the VASS printout of the assessments for all school-based assessment tasks to their other school/s to verify that scores have been entered correctly.

How to register a partnership

Schools wishing to form partnerships must:

  1. exchange partnership agreement forms
  2. enter their partnership details directly onto VASS
  3. check that all schools in the partnership have 'ticked' the approval button in VASS.

Partnerships are not valid unless all schools in the partnership group have approved their involvement.

Small group partnership agreement form

A small group partnership agreement form is obtained through VASS and must be:

  • completed for each study for which a partnership has been formed
  • endorsed by the school principal of each school in the partnership
  • retained by the school until March of the following year.

It may be requested by the VCAA for audit purposes.

Go to VASS.

Exemption from a small group partnership

Where a school is able to demonstrate that it is unable to form a partnership, the VCAA will grant an exemption.

Exemption requests must be:

  • submitted in writing stating the reasons for the exemption on school letter head
  • endorsed by the school principal
  • received by the Student records and results unit by 31 October.

Dissolving a partnership

To dissolve a partnership:

  • put the request in writing, including the reason/s for the request
  • get each principal to endorse the request
  • send requests to the manager, Student records and results.

The VCAA will then remove the partnership from the database and award an exemption where necessary, that is for schools with five or fewer enrolments. Alternatively, the 'small school' can form a new partnership with another school.

Some examples of an unsatisfactory partnership are:

  • regular and sufficient communication is not maintained
  • standard of tasks to be set cannot be agreed upon or a compromise met
  • standard of assessment cannot be agreed upon or a compromise met
  • level and spread of student coursework scores cannot be agreed to
  • a teacher may feel pressured to agree to assessments they don't believe best reflect the students' ability.

Combining groups for school-assessed tasks

Schools wishing to combine for school-assessed tasks should also enter their details directly onto VASS.

Please note that only the following studies have school-assessed tasks:

  • Algorithmics
  • Art
  • Computing
    • Informatics
    • Software Development
  • Media (ME03)
  • Product Design and Technology
  • Studio Arts
  • Systems Engineering
  • Visual Communication Design.


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