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Monday, 18 Jul 2016

Modernised HSC sets students up for success

Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli today announced wide-reaching reforms to the Higher School Certificate (HSC) to improve the learning experience for students and boost the standard of NSW school graduates.

From 2020, students will need to demonstrate they have met a minimum standard in both literacy and numeracy to receive the HSC.

Next year, Year 9 students will have their first opportunity to meet this new standard by achieving minimum band 8 results when they sit NAPLAN.

A video for current Year 8 and 9 students is available.

“Evidence shows us that students perform better when schools focus on improving essential literacy and numeracy skills for all students,” Mr Piccoli said.

Other HSC reforms, which will come into effect for Year 12 students in 2019, will:

  • Introduce better, fairer assessments to reduce excessive student stress

  • Introduce a Science Extension course, and encourage more students to study Maths at the highest possible level

  • Update the syllabuses in English, Maths, Science and History

  • Update exam questions to encourage deeper analysis.

Mr Piccoli said the reforms respond to feedback from parents, educators, business and the community about preparing students for 21st century careers.

“These changes will strengthen the integrity and international standing of the HSC and better prepare our students for work, training, university and for life after school,” Mr Piccoli said.

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards NSW (BOSTES) has developed the changes. President Tom Alegounarias said there were no new requirements for this year’s 70,000 HSC students and BOSTES will work with schools and teachers to prepare students for the future changes.

“The HSC hasn’t been updated in 17 years. It has a proud record and these changes will ensure the certificate remains modern, to meet the needs of all students,” Mr Alegounarias said.

For more information visit