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Schools and Educators

The following advice is for school principals and teachers. Schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of learning programs should contact us on 1800 134 197.

VCE

As at 23 July 2021

General Achievement Test

When is the GAT?

The GAT will be held on Thursday 12 August 2021.

Why has the GAT date moved again?

The rescheduling of the GAT allows schools time to organise logistics and put COVIDSafe protocols in place, so that students and staff can return onsite to participate safely.

It’s important that as many students as possible have the opportunity to sit the GAT. The new date takes into consideration students who may be impacted by school closures, quarantine and the need to self-isolate.

Consideration of Educational Disadvantage: School FAQs

What is CED?

Consideration of Educational Disadvantage (CED) is a process that accounts for the disruption to student learning caused the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It makes sure that final VCE results are valid and fair for all students.

It applies to every student completing scored one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences in 2021 (including Year 11 and 10 students).

It considers how students have been affected by circumstances, including:

  • school closures
  • direct impacts on the health of a student
  • students dealing with substantial extra family responsibilities
  • ongoing issues with remote learning (including intermittent access and suitability)
  • mental health challenges.

It restores students’ results to where they would have been without these disruptions that have occurred throughout the year. Students’ final scores on examinations will be equal to or higher than their achieved scores.

How does the CED process work?

The process involves collecting information from students and schools, validating evidence and moderating scores and grades. The steps are as follows:

  • Student submits an optional Student Statement to their school to alert their teacher of the significant disadvantage they have experienced.
  • Schools provide initial scores and indicative grades and also provide expected scores and grades (i.e. a student’s expected level of achievement had it not been for impact associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic).
  • The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) undertakes a robust analysis and moderation process based on the data and consider every student’s performance in every VCE study and in each assessment.

Will every student receive an adjusted VCE score?

Every student will be considered through the CED. Teachers will make a professional judgement based on all available information about their students' performance during the year and the degree to which performance has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

How will the CED impact student results?

The CED will not negatively impact student results. The aim of CED is to restore every student’s results to where they would be without the disruptions that have occurred during the year. Student final scores on examinations will be equal to or higher than student achieved scores.

Can students still access other special consideration processes, such as a Derived Examination Score?

Yes. In addition to the CED, students may also access special provision, including Derived Examination Score (DES) and VTAC’s Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) in special circumstances.

Students will be eligible to apply for a DES if they were prevented from completing an examination or their performance was significantly impacted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If students have experienced other circumstances that have negatively affected their education, such as financial disadvantage, health issues or other difficult circumstances outside of their control, they may be eligible to apply for the SEAS program through VTAC. The SEAS assessment will impact the student’s selection rank for the courses they apply for – not the student’s ATAR.

For more information, students should contact their school or go to the VTAC SEAS page.

If a student has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 immediately before or during their examinations, what do they do?

The student will be eligible to apply for a Derived Examination Score (DES) if they were prevented from completing an examination or their performance was significantly impacted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The evidence the student may need to provide includes:

  • a supporting letter/incident report from the school
  • evidence of testing for coronavirus (COVID-19), such as a medical certificate from an independent health professional recommending testing or direction to isolate having been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If a student didn’t complete a Student Statement, will this impact their results and CED?

No. Student results and how students are considered through the CED process will not be impacted if they did not submit a Student Statement.

The submission of a Student Statement is optional but could be important to outline a student’s individual circumstances, especially if their teacher or school are unaware of these. Teachers will make a professional judgement based on all available information about a student, student performance during the year and the degree to which student performance was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Every student will be considered through the CED process, which involves collecting information from students and schools, validating evidence and moderating scores and grades. The VCAA will undertake a robust analysis and moderation process based on the data and consider every student’s performance in every study and in each assessment .

Does the CED process apply to VCAL students?

The CED process only applies to students completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences. However, VCAL students will have access to a special consideration process.

Assessment decisions for VCAL are made at the school/provider level and are based on teacher judgement.

Schools are in the best position to determine if student learning was impacted by COVID-19 or if a student was unable to complete VCAL units due to the applied learning focus.

In applying special consideration for VCAL students, each school is asked to make an on-balance judgement about the level of impact on students. The process seeks to recognise that, despite the modifications that providers have made to VCAL this year, there were disproportionate impacts on individual students. It is designed to address questions of fairness for all students in all schools but also mitigate against the range of impacts experienced by individual students and, in some cases, whole cohorts of students.

Is there an appeal process?

If students wish to find out more information about their results, they can request a Statement of Marks and a Statement of Study Score:

  • The Statement of Marks shows the score student received for each question or criterion on an external assessment. It also provides a range of scores that correspond to the grades the student received.
  • The Statement of Study Scores provides a detailed breakdown of how the student’s study score was calculated.

If a student requires support to interpret their scores, they should contact their school to help them understand how the CED has affected their school-based assessment scores and the Expected Grade for their external assessment.

If the student’s school believes there is a significant difference in the results the student received and the results the school expected the student to receive, the school may wish to make an application to the VCAA for Confirmation of Grades (as per previous years).

VCE assessment

Conducting school-based assessments during remote learning

Schools can choose the conditions and arrangements for school-based assessments. These conditions must meet the VCE assessment principles (docx - 68.73kb), study design requirements and VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook specifications. You may consider delivering school-based assessments remotely or may choose to reschedule for a later date when face-to-face learning resumes.

The VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook 2021 outlines the rules, regulations and policies governing VCE and VCAL delivery. The following links will help you to develop, document and implement your school’s assessment and authentication policies, processes and strategies during this time:

Important dates

Please note the following deadlines for entering VCE scores and results in VASS:

  • Unit 3 school-based assessment results – Monday 6 September
  • Unit 4 school-based assessment results – Wednesday 3 November.

Assessment integrity

To maintain the integrity of VCE assessments during remote learning, we advise schools and teachers to:

  • consider the full range of assessment task options in each study design and select the type that is most appropriate for a remote and flexible learning setting to assess student performance for the outcome
  • ensure that questions and task requirements assess if students have a conceptual understanding of the key knowledge and can apply the key skills, rather than simply recall information through memorisation
  • consider the length of the time allocated and the assessment conditions that are best suited for remote and flexible learning
  • provide students with clear written details of the school’s rules, procedures and authentication requirements relating to school-based assessment and the VCAA rules, in particular ‘Students must not cheat or assist other students to cheat, including taking any action that gives or attempts to give them or another student an unfair advantage’
  • ask students to fill in an Authentication Record for School-based Assessment form (pdf - 56.83kb) (also available from VASS Downloads) for any school-based assessment work they complete outside of the classroom. This form requires students to declare that all resource materials and assistance have been acknowledged and that all unacknowledged work is their own. You can collect and maintain these declarations during periods of remote learning in several ways, including:
    • asking students to submit the declaration with their school-based assessment work, either on the cover or the work itself, in their submission email or through a learning management system
    • using an online form created using platforms such as Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, Survey Monkey or Compass Insights
    • asking students to record their declaration via video or audio, which they can submit using email or through a learning management system
    • waiting until students return to school to sign the declaration. In this case, tell students at the start that this will happen.

Authenticating remote assessments

Teachers are responsible for judging a student’s satisfactory completion of a unit and for assessing each student’s level of achievement in Units 3 and 4 outcomes. By reporting satisfactory completion, you certify that students have achieved the set of outcomes for the unit according to the rules set out by the VCAA and your school. If any part or all of a student’s work cannot be authenticated, the matter must be dealt with as a breach of rules.

You can authenticate remote school-based assessments through a learning management system (LMS), cloud-based file management tool or similar third-party software. Methods of authenticating assessments include:

  • releasing the school-based assessment to students at the beginning of a remote lesson, with clear instructions for students to submit their responses at the end of the lesson
  • providing temporary access to the school-based assessment
  • using a read receipt to track when a student has accessed an emailed assessment
  • using an LMS or video conference to provide instruction, observe students and ask questions
  • asking students to email short-answer responses under timed sessions
  • asking students to present oral tasks using video technology
  • asking students to document the specific stages of the development of their work, starting with an early part of the task, such as the topic choice, list of resources or preliminary research. Copies of each student’s written work should be regularly monitored and submitted at given stages in their development
  • using a video conference to validate individual school-based assessments after submission
  • ensuring that, where there are multiple classes for a particular study, students in all classes access school-based assessments simultaneously. If this is not possible, the assessment task should be suitably modified for each class
  • asking students to demonstrate their understanding of assessed outcomes when, or around the time, they submit their work.

A proportion of a school-assessed task (SAT) can be completed remotely, as long as students thoroughly document the authentication process in their folio and regularly check-in with a teacher. This may also be done via a video conference during the marking process.

2021 VCE examinations

End of year VCE written examinations will be held between Wednesday 27 October and Wednesday 17 November 2021. See the full VCE examination timetable on our website for more information.

Withdrawing from VCE units

The last day for official withdrawal from VCE Unit 4 or VCE VET scored Unit 3 and 4 units of competency was Monday 19 July 2021.

The last day for official enrolment and withdrawal from VCE Units 1 and 2 is Monday 8 November 2021.

VCE Study Designs

For 2021, the curriculum and assessment requirements for the units in the individual VCE study are in accordance with the original, unadjusted study design. It is imperative that the revised 2020 Adjusted Study Designs are not used in the delivery of the VCE in 2021. The correct study design for 2021 can be located on each VCE study webpage identifiable by the blue box containing the link to the study design. The 2020 Adjusted Study Designs have now been removed from all VCE study webpages

Will there be changes to VCE study designs or exams like last year?

As we are now well into the delivery of Unit 4, there will be no changes to the following:

  • study design or examination content
  • VCE performance, Languages oral or written examination dates

Applying a fair and consistent approach for all students is paramount to any change we make. As schools and students will be at various stages of Unit 4 delivery, there is no way to make accommodations to study designs or examinations that will be fair and consistent to all students.

Last year we began amendments to Study Designs at the end of Term 1. This year we are now well into Unit 4 teaching. We have no way of knowing which content has been covered already from school to school and from subject to subject, so it is not possible to roll over last year’s changes as it would not be fair to each and every student. We are confident the CED process will ensure all students have the opportunity to be assessed fairly.

Structured Workplace Learning in VCE Industry and Enterprise

VCE Industry and Enterprise requires students to undertake structured workplace learning in educational, community and/or industry settings. Please refer to the advice regarding undertaking SWL during coronavirus (COVID-19) published by the Department of Education and Training.

VCE Drama and Theatre Studies – accessing live performances

Due to the cancellation of some plays from the 2021 VCE Playlist, it will be possible to access a filmed performance of a play from the list if it is not possible to see a live performance.

Several of the listed plays have filmed performances they can make available. We encourage you to access live theatre should public health directions allow however, analysis of the filmed plays from the list will be acceptable for purposes of assessment.

International students

On Friday 7 May 2021, the Minister for Education approved Victorian schools to continue delivering courses online to international students until the end of Term 2, 2022.

Queries about international students completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences overseas should be directed to the VCAA International Unit.

VCAL

Special consideration

Special consideration for VCAL students

VCAL students impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have access to a special consideration process.

Assessment decisions for VCAL are made at the school/provider level and are based on teacher judgement.

Schools are in the best position to determine if student learning was impacted by COVID-19 or if a student was unable to complete VCAL units due to the applied learning focus.

In applying special consideration for VCAL students, each school is asked to make an on-balance judgement about the level of impact on students. The process seeks to recognise that, despite the modifications that providers have made to VCAL this year, there were disproportionate impacts on individual students. It is designed to address questions of fairness for all students in all schools but also mitigate against the range of impacts experienced by individual students and, in some cases, whole cohorts of students.

Eligible VCAL programs

Ensuring VCAL students are enrolled in an eligible program

Schools are reminded of the importance of running an eligibility report in VASS to ensure a student is enrolled in an eligible program. This will help to ensure that you are delivering a VCAL program that matches the student's level of enrolment. For further information, refer to the Using the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) webpage. For support in interpreting an eligibility report, contact the VCAL unit on 03 9032 1725 or vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au.

Carry forward of credit

While you are encouraged to deliver broad programs for all students, the qualification rules state that students must have completed a total value of ten credits, with six credits being at the level of the VCAL award in which they are enrolled or above. This means that students can either:

  • carry credit from a VCAL level completed the previous year, as long as it is one level below that of the student's current enrolment. For example, a student currently enrolled in Senior level VCAL and who completed an Intermediate level VCAL last year, can carry four Intermediate credits (units) into this year's Senior VCAL enrolment
  • enrol in a VCAL level, for example Senior level, but opt to do four of the units at the level below, that is, Intermediate.

It is important that you run an eligibility report to ensure that the qualification requirements are met. For more information, contact the VCAL unit via email vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au  or consult the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

VET requirement for VCAL students

The VET requirement for VCAL students remains the same as in previous years. At the Intermediate and Senior VCAL levels, students must complete a minimum of 90 hours of units of competency to meet the Industry Specific Skills (ISS) Strand requirement. Foundation VCAL students have the additional option of completing selected VCE units to meet the ISS Strand requirement.

For specific questions about VET, contact the VET unit on (03) 9032 1737 or vet.vcaa@education.vic.gov.au.

Structured Workplace Learning

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is a recommended but not mandated part of VCAL.

Schools are required to refer to the advice regarding undertaking SWL published by the Department of Education.

 

VET

General information

Delivery of VET to secondary students

TAFEs and RTOs are continuing to support students accessing on-site and remote learning options for VET delivered to secondary students. There may be some differences in the way classes are delivered and assessed which should be determined by the school.

Practical training and assessment are to be conducted according to the requirements of the unit of competency in an appropriately resourced training environment. In some cases, this may see an amendment to earlier arrangements with the RTO, including the replacement of some previously selected units with more knowledge or theory-based units.

Where a student is undertaking a VET certificate and relying on credit from that certificate for the completion of their VCE or VCAL, schools are required to run an eligibility report to determine how credit from the VET certificate may impact on their eligibility.

Structured Workplace Learning

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) provides a valuable contribution to a student's learning where it is aligned to a VET certificate. The VCAA strongly supports students undertaking SWL to enhance their knowledge and skills gained through undertaking a VET certificate.

All of the requirements for SWL published by the Department of Education and Training can be found on their website.

Workplace Learning Recognition and VET

The VCAA has determined that the time spent in a workplace on SWL related to a VCE VET program can provide access to credit towards the VCE or VCAL for Workplace Learning Recognition. Students are required to reflect on the number of units of competency identified in either the VCE VET program specific or generic Apprenticeship or Traineeship Workplace Learning Record.

Mandated SWL for VET qualifications or Units of Competency

In some VET certificates units of competency may contain a mandated workplace component. This is unable to be changed as it is an inherent part of the assessment requirements of that unit. In this case a suitable placement should be sought as soon as possible following easing of restrictions or alternate units may be negotiated with the RTO.