Research shows limitations in the HSC for Student Opportunities Due to Simply Being Poor

Click here to read the Sydney Morning Herald article HSC subject hierarchy can lower students’ horizons, says study. Every subject in the NSW HSC program is scaled in preprogrammed ways in order to determine an ATAR number, rating every student into a single reference point for convenient administration of universities’ application processes. Every student receives a ranking in relation to every other student firstly in relation to their classmates at school and then in relation to their cohort in the state to determine their future path.

The state’s most advantaged students have better access to high-status, high-scaling HSC subjects, new research has found – raising concerns that limited, low-status curriculum offerings are causing poorer students to lower their aspirations.

Jordan Baker – Sydney Morning Herald December 13, 2019

The trouble is that there has been a schism opening up where schools with a higher socio-economic status of students are taking on subjects that have a more advantageous scaling such as Music Extension and Music 2, higher mathematics, or advanced English and lower socio-economic state schools may not even be able to offer those high scaling subjects with only 1-2 students applying.

This schism gives an immediate ATAR advantage to the rich kids over the poor kids simply because of the way the scaling of the more academically rigorous subjects is calculated. This scaling enables a student at an exclusive private school in Sydney an opportunity to have a higher ATAR simply by enrolling in a high scaling course of Music 2 compared to the student in far west NSW who enrols in Family Studies vocational training.

So upon graduation after 13 years of education, the students are already divided into class structures because of a mathematical formula.

Yet another reason to chose to home educate in the higher levels of highschool. The home educated student can study what they want to study and pursue the future they want to pursue without any impediments imposed upon them by the state education system. Home educated students are truly free.

For more information on how home educated students can enter tertiary education without an ATAR, read this blog post Alternative Pathways to Tertiary Education and take advantage of the freedom of choice.

Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.