Anxiety of Year 12 Students Wholly Unjustified. An ATAR is NOT Necessary for Tertiary Studies.

The Victorian Premier, Mr Andrews, whose eldest son is in Year 12, said the Victorian Government was committed to ensuring all students were able to get an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

“It is my aim,” he said. “If they can get an ATAR, if not within this calendar year, then very soon thereafter. We’ve got six or eight weeks at the end of the year that we can catch up.”

Victorian Premier Mr Andrews

This is where the ignorance of our politicians and education leadership about what education can look like is failing Australian teenagers today causing wholly unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Students do not need an ATAR to start university

With only an average of 25% of all university admissions utilising the ATAR system, clearly 75% of successful applications to university studies demonstrates that there are other ways for year 12 students of 2020, to enter university without the school ATAR system.

Ed Consult has published a comprehensive list of alternative pathways. If you are looking for information on university access, then start right here

Whether you have had your year 12 studies interrupted, or are simply home educated, there are many alternative pathways to start your tertiary education studies. There is no need to repeat year 12 as suggested by the well meaning but ill informed Victoria Premier, Mr Andrews.


Further invaluable information for alternative pathways to tertiary studies in Australia.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.

NSW in Focus – TAFE Update

The NSW Minister for Skills, John Barilaro, announced in 2017 that home educated students 15 years and over registered with NESA as secondary students could enrol in Smart and Skilled funded courses at TAFE and private RTOs in NSW. This greatly reduces the fees to access these courses and ensures that this remains a viable pathway to work or further education.

Click here for the eligible courses for Smart and Skilled funded placements.

The simple eligible student criteria includes:

  • aged 15 years or older
  • live in New South Wales
  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident, humanitarian visa holder or New Zealand citizen

There is a specific fact sheet for home educated kids interested in a TAFE course or Registered Training Organisation (RTO) here.

The fees that students pay vary widely depending on a variety of circumstances. Students with a disability do not have to pay any fees. Students in low income households (in receipt of the full Family Tax benefit A or youth allowance), or who are Aboriginal, have low fees. If students do not fit into these categories their fees will be more – up to several thousand dollars depending on the course. TAFE has a fee calculator on their website that you can use to help determine what the fees will likely be.  

It is no longer a requirement for registered home educated students to have a year 10 certificate for admission to Smart and Skilled funded NSW TAFE courses. If you are asked by TAFE or the private RTO for a year 10 certificate, explain that the student is registered for home education and meets the requirements for eligibility for a Smart and Skilled funded course. 

There have been some stories in 2018-2019 where home educated kids were being rejected as not eligible for Smart and Skilled funded placements. This was usually down to poorly trained staff and the best ways to deal with a difficult gatekeeper is to ask:

  • Firstly, hand the TAFE admin the Smart and Skilled PDF.
  • If that doesn’t work, ask to speak to the supervisor.
  • If that doesn’t work, contact Smart and Skilled directly on this link and tell them the branch of TAFE or the RTO you are dealing with and get the answers your child deserves.

If you have experienced discriminatory practices in your state or territory with regards to higher education access, please email at contact@edconsult.com.au or leave a comment below this blog or the YouTube video. 

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.