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Consideration of Educational Disadvantage

Frequently Asked Questions for Schools

What is Consideration of Educational Disadvantage?

Students, families and schools have had a tough year due to the bushfires and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Victoria.

Recognising these challenges, the VCAA has introduced the ‘Consideration of Educational Disadvantage’ process, which will take into account significant disruptions to student learning caused by the coronavirus.

Under this process, the VCAA will consider a range of data provided by schools, together with each student’s exam results, including the General Achievement Test (GAT) and appropriate comparisons of performance across all assessments and schools, when undertaking its analysis to ensure the validity of final results. The CED will apply to every student completing scored VCE, VCE/VET Units 3 and 4 in 2020 (including Year 11 and 10 students) and each individual student will have their circumstances considered when calculating their individual final scores to ensure their results are fair.

The CED process will consider how students have been affected by circumstances including (but not limited to):

  • 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.

The CED process is just one element in the suite of changes the VCAA has made to the curriculum and assessment process in 2020 due to bushfires and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Other changes the VCAA has already put in place include reducing course content and assessments for Unit 4, rescheduling the GAT and extending Term 4 for VCE students, with exams being held later in the year than usual.

How does the CED process work?

The CED is a new process that has been embedded in the VCAA’s well-established assessment processes. The CED will apply to every student completing scored VCE, VCE/VET Units 3 and 4 in 2020 (including Year 11 and 10 students).

The aim of CED is to restore students’ results to where they would be without the disruptions that have occurred in 2020. Students’ final scores on examinations will be equal to or higher than their achieved scores.

The CED process involves collecting information from students and schools, validating evidence and moderating scores and grades.

  • Students have had the opportunity to submit a Student Statement, which is an opportunity to bring significant disadvantage experienced as a result of bushfires and/or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to their teachers’ attention.
  • Schools will provide initial scores and indicative grades as per the normal process. In 2020, schools will also provide expected scores and grades (i.e. a student’s expected level of achievement had it not been for bushfires and/or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic) for all students in all studies. Expected scores and grades are new to 2020.
  • The VCAA will undertake robust analysis and moderation process based on the data and consider every student’s performance in every study and in each assessment.

Will students be able to dispute whether CED was properly reflected in their results?

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

Why are teachers required to provide initial scores for school assessments? How are these going to be used?

Some schools may have already taken impacts of the bushfires and/or the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and any mitigation strategies into account in their initial schools scores. In such instances, the expected school scores could be equal to the initial school scores. This may also be equal if a school makes a judgment that there was little to no impact, in terms of achievement.

For ease of administration, schools are able to use tick boxes when initial school scores are equal to expected school scores and when indicative grades are equal to expected grades.

Will the expected score rank be used instead of the initial score rank?

The expected score rank order will be the starting point for the statistical moderation process.

Both indicative grades and expected grades are required for examinations. Why are indicative grades required?

Indicative grades will continue to be used to support the quality assurance checks for marking external assessments (i.e. Anomalous grade marking).

If expected scores are going to be used for statistical moderation, how will CED be applied to examination performance?

The CED input from the school for the examinations will be in the expected grades. The VCAA will monitor and moderate this information to ensure fairness and consistency across schools. Students’ achieved scores will form the basis of final examination results. The VCAA will make any necessary adjustments to students’ achieved results taking into account the need to ensure consistent treatment across schools and using the information provided by schools as well as all available assessment information, including the GAT.

How will the GAT be used in CED?

The primary determinant of a student’s final study score is based on their achievement in the graded assessments of that study. For 2020, this will continue to be the case.

While the GAT does not directly count towards a student’s VCE results, it contributes to statistical moderation of school-based assessment results for some studies. It assists in VCE quality assurance processes relating to external assessments and it also helps in the calculation of Derived Examination Scores.

Given the challenges of this year, the VCAA will consider all available information, including the GAT, to support its quality assurance processes of final results.

While it is important to participate, if students were unable to participate in the GAT, VCAA has established processes to ensure fair results for these students.

Can a student have both a DES and CED?

Yes. The existing special provision arrangements for the VCE examinations will continue, including special examination arrangements and DES.

Where expected scores and expected grades have been provided for a student and the student meets the DES criteria (page 147 of the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook 2020) then an application should be made by the student.

In general:

  • CED is designed to cater for interruption to learning over the whole year and needs to be entered for all students undertaking VCE scored assessment.
  • DES is designed to cater for students who are ill or affected by other personal circumstances at the time of a VCE external assessment and whose result is unlikely to be a fair or accurate indication of their learning or achievement in the study should apply for a DES.

Will CED be reported on students’ Certificates or Statement of Results?

No. Certificates and Statement of Results will provide information in the same way as in previous years. They will not include reference to CED.