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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Updated Friday 27 March

Following the recent announcement by the Premier regarding school holidays the VCAA is continuing to prepare for a range of scenarios that may impact on the delivery and assessment of the VCE and VCAL.

Updated advice is provided on the Continuity of learning for senior secondary students page.

Letter to Principals, 27 March 2020


Impact on the VCE - updated Friday 13 March

The VCE allows for considerable flexibility in delivery of learning and the administration of school-based assessments and the VCAA is assisting schools to identify suitable arrangements for their students' learning and assessment on a case-by-case basis.

The VCAA aims to ensure that no student is disadvantaged and will support schools to give each student opportunity to complete the requirements of their VCE studies.

Advice for students and parents, carers, and guardians

The Department of Education and Training, Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and Department of Health and Human Services provide information for students and parents, carers, and guardians.

If you are affected by or have questions regarding COVID-19 contact your school in the first instance.

Schools and education providers

Schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the impact of novel coronavirus on the delivery of learning programs should contact us on (03) 9032 1629.

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

These FAQs are designed to address the specific concerns of principals and teachers. The dates mentioned in this document are current as at the date above. The VCAA will continue to update these FAQs as events unfold. You should continue to check this page to ensure you have the most recent version.

A. General

The VCAA is looking at ways it can support schools to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and ensure continuity of learning and delivery of assessment to students, in particular those completing one or more VCE Unit 3-4 and/ or VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequence in 2020.

The VCAA is taking a flexible and agile approach to meeting emerging issues and is relying on schools to be similarly flexible and agile in ensuring continuity of learning and delivery of assessment.

B. VCE Program delivery

  1. If a school has students self-isolating at home or makes the decision to close for an extended period due to COVID 19, what can it do to support VCE students?
  2. The immediate focus is to ensure continuity of learning. There are a number of ways in which a school can make alternative arrangements to assist students with their learning and enable them to demonstrate VCE unit outcomes and be engaged in assessment activities. These include but are not limited to:

    • the use of an existing online learning management system to share learning and teaching materials
    • provision of materials to students via email, USB or hard copy
    • the use of a textbook to guide the individual learning program
    • allowing students extra time to complete work or an assessment task
    • rescheduling classroom activities and/or assessment tasks
    • setting a substitute task of the same type
    • using a planned task to assess more outcomes, or replace a task with a different type than originally planned
    • re-ordering of the learning program for studies with a practical component
    • deriving satisfactory completion of outcomes or scores from other assessments or work completed by the student
    • in consultation with staff at the local level, schools may wish to consider school holidays and out of hours opportunities to deliver on the teaching and learning program.

    Study-specific questions In addition, schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the delivery of study-specific learning programs and School-based Assessments should contact us on (03) 9032 1629.

    VCE VET Studies Schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the delivery VCE VET programs with a practical component, including work placement or simulated work environment or a specific set of tools or resources for delivery should contact us on (03) 9032 1737.

  3. What if students don't have access to digital devices or the internet at home?
  4. Schools that have digital devices with internet capability available could consider loaning them to students to enable online instruction. Schools can also distribute materials to students in print format or on USBs, where students do not have access to the internet.

  5. What is the cut-off date for VCE students who are unable to work during isolation and/or a school closure?
  6. Monday 27 April 2020 is the last day for official enrolment in or withdrawal from VCE Unit 3-4 sequences.

    While ultimately a school decision, the VCAA recommends students completing one or more VCE Unit 3-4 sequences need to be enrolled and have commenced learning prior to this deadline.

    Although Monday 9 November 2020 is the last day for official enrolment and withdrawal from VCE Units 1 and 2, students must engage in their studies well prior to that date to meet the expected 50 hours of scheduled classroom instruction and 50 hours of self-directed learning.

  7. Can VCE students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak withdraw from studies and still get their VCE?
  8. Eligibility to complete the VCE depends on each student's individual VCE program. Schools need to monitor this and advise students on the impact of withdrawing from one or more studies.  To assist in the determination of eligibility, schools are reminded that VASS can be used to run individual student eligibility reports.

  9. Can VCE students doing a Unit 1 subject defer until Semester 2?

    VCE students doing a Unit 1 subject could defer until Semester 2,  depending on the school's ability to deliver it, and as long as their school has discussed the impacts on their VCE program with them. Schools have the flexibility to finalise VCE Unit 1 and 2 enrolments as late as Monday 9 November 2020.

C. Assessment

  1. Is it possible for School-based Assessment to be delivered online or rescheduled?
  2. Schools have the flexibility to delay or reschedule SACs and SATs. While it is possible to deliver some coursework online, SACs should be completed mainly in class and within a limited timeframe. If other arrangements are made locally due to current circumstances, it is most important that teachers are still able to authenticate student work. Page 76 to 79 of VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook 2020 includes information regarding SACs completed outside of class time and authentication strategies.

    In addition, the VCAA has flexibility to extend the date by which assessments are due. The current due dates are Friday 12 June for Unit 3 SAT scores, Monday 7 September for Unit 3, and Wednesday 4 November for Unit 4.

     

  3. Will students who have missed class time due to school closures or travel restrictions qualify for special provision on their assessment?
  4. Schools' immediate priority should be to limit the impact on students and wherever possible ensure continuity of learning.

    There is a range of internal school-managed special provision strategies schools can apply in relation to learning and school-based assessment. These include:

    • rescheduling learning activities and/or an assessment task
    • allowing the student extra time to complete work or an assessment task
    • setting a substitute task of the same type
    • replacing a task with a different type
    • using a planned task to assess more outcomes, or aspects of outcomes, than originally intended
    • using assistive technology, aides or other special arrangements to complete learning and/or undertake assessment tasks
    • deriving satisfactory completion of outcomes from other assessments or work completed by the student
    • deriving scores from other assessments or work completed by the student.

    Schools should refer to VCAA's Special Provision for Classroom Learning and School-based-Assessment webpage to ensure that the most appropriate, fair and reasonable options for the student are utilised.

  5. In what circumstances can a student be eligible for a Derived Examination Score (DES)?
  6. The immediate priority for schools is to ensure continuity of learning and internal School-based Assessment as outlined at point 7 above. It is critical that schools put in place processes to ensure the integrity of internal assessments is maintained throughout the year.

    Where considered necessary, schools may opt to derive scores from other assessments completed either before or after a period of time when students were significantly impacted.

    This could involve comparing student's level of performance across a range of assessment tasks, impacted and non-impacted, and making fair, evidence-based adjustments to affected assessments where appropriate.

    Closer to the 2020 VCE examination period, the VCAA will determine whether Derived Examination Scores (DES) for VCE external assessments - on an individual or group basis – might be appropriate and in what circumstances they would be approved. 

  7. What would be the impact if schools are closed and students cannot sit the GAT in June?
  8. The VCAA would use the range of data available to support key processes including statistical moderation and the calculation of Derived Examination Scores (DES).

    The VCAA would not be able to report student performance on the three components of the GAT.

Impact on the VCAL - updated Thursday 19 March

These FAQs are designed to address the specific concerns of principals and teachers. The dates mentioned in this document are current as at the date above. The VCAA will continue to update these FAQs as events unfold. You should continue to check the  this page to ensure you have the most recent version.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) Program delivery

  1. If a school has students self-isolating at home or the Chief Health Officer makes the recommendation that a school closes for an extended period due to COVID-19, what can it do to support VCAL students? 

    The immediate focus is to ensure students' health and wellbeing, and then their continuity of learning. There are a number of ways in which a school can make alternative arrangements to assist students with their learning and enable them to demonstrate achievement of VCAL unit learning outcomes and be engaged in learning and assessment activities. These include but are not limited to:

    • the use of an existing online learning management system to share learning and teaching materials
    • the use of existing learning management systems to work remotely with students to support their learning
    • provision of materials to students via email, USB or hard copy
    • allowing students extra time to complete work or a learning or assessment task
    • rescheduling classroom activities and/or assessment tasks
    • redesigning a planned assessment task to enable the assessment of more learning outcomes when students are back in the classroom
    • asking students to log the hours spent on the various curriculum areas to support future assessment decisions
    • re-ordering of the learning program for studies with a practical component, including team work components and project-based tasks. This may mean focusing on individual work initially and then working in teams later in the year
    • working with teams and engaging with the community through online or virtual platforms, if this is available and appropriate for their context.

    VCAL Learning Program - specific questions In addition, schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the delivery of VCAL learning programs, including Structured Workplace Learning placements undertaken as part of a VCAL program, should contact the VCAL unit (03) 9032 1725.  

    VCE VET studies and other VET studies Schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the delivery VCE VET programs, or other VET programs used with a VCAL program, that have a practical component, including work placement or simulated work environment or a specific set of tools or resources for delivery should contact the VCAA VET unit on (03) 9032 1737.

  2. What if students don't have access to digital devices or the internet at home?
  3. Schools that have digital devices with internet capability available could consider loaning them to students to enable online instruction. Schools can also distribute materials to students in print format or on USBs, where students do not have access to the internet.

    For schools and education providers which don't usually provide an online learning platform for VCAL students, please ensure students are familiar with the platform and will be able to access their learning program.

Assessment

  1. Is it possible for VCAL assessment to be delivered online or rescheduled?
  2. VCAL provides great flexibility in relation to assessment. Schools have the flexibility to delay or reschedule assessment of VCAL learning outcomes.

    While it is possible to deliver some of the learning program online or remotely, assessment should be completed mainly in class. If other arrangements are made locally due to current circumstances, it is most important that teachers are still able to authenticate student work. 

  3. Will students who have missed class time due to school closures or travel restrictions qualify for special provision on their assessment? 

    Schools' immediate priority should be to limit the impact on students and wherever possible ensure continuity of learning. There is a range of internal school-managed special provision strategies schools can apply in relation to learning and school-based assessment. These include:

    • rescheduling learning activities and/or an assessment task
    • allowing the student extra time to complete work or an assessment task
    • setting a substitute task
    • replacing a task with a different form of assessment
    • redesigning a planned task to assess more outcomes, or aspects of outcomes, than originally intended
    • using assistive technology, aides or other special arrangements to complete learning and/or undertake assessment tasks.

    Schools should contact the VCAA VCAL unit on (03) 9032 1725 for further advice.

  4. What impact will cancellation of workplace learning have on student outcomes?
  5. If workplace learning is cancelled schools/providers should focus on other aspects of learning.

    In most cases, if a student's placement is cancelled it won't affect their attainment of the VCAL. However, if a VCAL student is undertaking a VET unit as part of their VCAL that includes Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) as a mandated component, you will need to seek advice from the VCAA VET unit on (03) 9032 1737.

    If students normally use the activities of SWL to meet some of the learning outcomes of a VCAL Work Related Skills Unit, then schools/providers would be expected to assign alternative work to enable students to meet these learning outcomes.

  6. What would be the impact if schools are closed and students cannot sit the GAT in June?
  7. Some VCAL students would normally be required to sit the GAT.  In this instance, the VCAA would use the range of data available to support key processes.

    The VCAA would not be able to report student performance on the three components of the GAT.

International students - updated Tuesday 25 February

On 22 February the Federal and Victorian governments announced that senior secondary students who remain in China due to Australian travel restrictions will now be able to apply for exemptions to the restrictions. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

This decision is based on the best medical advice available and with the safety of Australians as the number one priority, and in recognition of Year 11 and 12 VCE students' strict school attendance requirements, which if not met would prevent them from completing their senior secondary qualifications.