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Advice for Schools and Educators

The following advice is for school principals and teachers. Schools and education providers with questions and concerns regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of learning programs should contact us on 1800 134 197.

VCE

As at 10 September 2021

General Achievement Test

When is the GAT?

The GAT will be held on Tuesday 5 October from 10.00am – 1.15pm, subject to public health advice and epidemiological conditions.

We will continue to work with the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health to provide schools with the most up-to-date health and safety requirements for conducting the GAT.

The current published Operational Guidance for the COVID-safe delivery of the 2021 General Achievement Test remains in place. Any updates to the Guidance will be provided to schools prior to the scheduled date.

Consideration of Educational Disadvantage: School FAQs

Background

What is CED?

Consideration of Educational Disadvantage (CED) is a process that accounts for the disruption to student learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes sure that final VCE results are valid and fair for all students.

It applies to every student completing scored one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences in 2021 (including Year 11 and 10 students).

It considers how students have been affected by circumstances, including:

  • 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.

It restores students' results to where they would have been without these disruptions that have occurred throughout the year. Students' final scores on examinations will be equal to or higher than their achieved scores.

How does the CED process work?

The process involves collecting information from students and schools, validating evidence and moderating scores and grades. The steps are as follows:

  • Student submits an optional Student Statement to their school to alert their teacher of the significant disadvantage they have experienced.
  • Schools provide initial scores and indicative grades and also provide expected scores and grades (i.e. a student's expected level of achievement had it not been for impact associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic).
  • The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) undertakes a robust analysis and moderation process based on the data and consider every student's performance in every VCE study and in each assessment.

How will the CED impact student results?

The CED will not negatively impact student results. The aim of CED is to restore every student's results to where they would be without the disruptions that have occurred during the year. Student final scores on examinations will be equal to or higher than student achieved scores.

Does CED diminish the importance of exams?

No. Students should make every effort to achieve the very best results they can. It is likely that many students will have successfully met the extraordinary challenges of this year and will perform better in their exams than might have been expected. In such examples, their final results will take into account this level of achievement.

How will all students be considered through the CED?

Every student will be considered through the CED, but not every student has been disadvantaged. Some have had a hard time adjusting to online learning, while others have thrived. That's because every student is different and every student's experience in 2021 will be different.

Teachers will make a professional judgement based on all available information about each student, including their Student Statement, their performance during the year and the degree to which their performance has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements because they know their students and their circumstances.

Eligibility

Will every student receive an adjusted VCE score?

Every student will be considered through the CED. Teachers will make a professional judgement based on all available information about their students' performance during the year and the degree to which performance has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Can students still access other special consideration processes, such as a Derived Examination Score?

Yes. In addition to the CED, students may also access special provision, including Derived Examination Score (DES) and VTAC's Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) in special circumstances.

Students will be eligible to apply for a DES if they were prevented from completing an examination or their performance was significantly impacted because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If students have experienced other circumstances that have negatively affected their education, such as financial disadvantage, health issues or other difficult circumstances outside of their control, they may be eligible to apply for the SEAS program through VTAC. The SEAS assessment will impact the student's selection rank for the courses they apply for – not the student's ATAR.

For more information, students should contact their school or go to the VTAC SEAS page.

How does the CED process apply to other disruptions or impacts such as natural disasters?

The CED can be applied to any circumstance which causes an interruption to the learning program that cannot be addressed by existing VCAA Special Provision processes.

A student is unable to sit their exam because of COVID-19. Will CED be factored in?

Every year there are some students who are unable to complete their exams due to health and other issues. While exams play an important part in determining final results for the VCE, if a student is unable to complete any of their exams because of COVID-19, their final VCE results will be determined based on their school-based assessment and the General Achievement Test (GAT) results, as well as a range of additional data provided by their school. This will make sure all students receive fair and reliable results in 2021.

If students are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms on the day of an examination, or if they are required to quarantine, they will be eligible to apply for a Derived Examination Score (DES).

Does the CED process apply to VCAL students?

The CED process only applies to students completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences. However, VCAL students will have access to a special consideration process.

Assessment decisions for VCAL are made at the school/provider level and are based on teacher judgement.

Schools are in the best position to determine if student learning was impacted by COVID-19 or if a student was unable to complete VCAL units due to the applied learning focus.

In applying special consideration for VCAL students, each school is asked to make an on-balance judgement about the level of impact on students. The process seeks to recognise that, despite the modifications that providers have made to VCAL this year, there were disproportionate impacts on individual students. It is designed to address questions of fairness for all students in all schools but also mitigate against the range of impacts experienced by individual students and, in some cases, whole cohorts of students.

Should schools enter any CED data for students who have been confirmed to be completing a non-scored VCE program?

No. CED data is not required for students who are not completing scored assessment.

Assessment equity and integrity

Do all teachers of a particular student need to use the same adjustment in providing expected scores?

The level of impact on expected scores or expected grades may vary across a student's program of study. Expected scores reflect the teacher's professional assessment judgment on how the student would have performed this year had they not been impacted, above what has been mitigated.

What should a teacher do if their whole class has been affected by similar types and levels of disruptions?

Whole classes or cohorts of students may experience the same disruption to their learning program as a result of remote and flexible learning. However, the purpose of CED is for teachers to assess at an individual student level how the shared disruption has uniquely impacted each student's level of performance.

Even where the disruption is the same for all students (for example the number of days in remote learning), the impact on individual students can be unique. 

For example, four students in one class may have had different experiences of the same period of remote learning:

  • Student A was able to better focus without classroom distractions and has achieved more
  • Student B has had negative mental health as a result of remote learning is disengaged
  • Student C has struggled to get their technology and internet to be stable
  • Student D either themselves or a close family member contracted COVID-19

Although there may be some universal disadvantage in the class, the student's disadvantage is not uniform. All students experienced the same general disruption to learning, but the impact is variable.

The best people to assess students are their teachers. In asking teachers to make individual assessment judgements particular to each student, which can be validated against available evidence, their support is being sought to make sure no student is disadvantaged through a whole group adjustment.

The CED process is different this year because students doing Units 3–4 have had two years of interrupted preparation. How should teachers approach this? What evidence should teachers use?

The CED process is about impacts on a student's Unit 34 studies in 2021. Units 1 and 2 are not prerequisites for most VCE Unit 3–4 studies, and in a typical year not all students will have undertaken Units 1 and 2 in preparation for Units 3–4. Ongoing impacts from 2020 may be considered, however we are not asking teachers to weigh the type of disadvantage.

Schools will have used a range of strategies since of beginning the year to mitigate any gaps in knowledge and skills for this year's students, and that they can use the evidence gained throughout the largely uninterrupted Semester 1 to inform their judgements.

What should an educator do if a student is unable to complete a School-assessed Task (SAT) for a VCE study? How can expected scores for CED be determined?

In the case of VCE studies with SATs, where the product cannot be completed due to lack of access to specialised facilities or equipment during remote learning, teachers must assess against the prescribed criteria regardless of the stage of the project at the point where final scores must be finalised.

This assessment will form the basis of the initial school-based score ranking.

Teacher assessment judgement should be used to establish the result a student would have been expected to achieve had the project completion not been affected by COVID-19 safety requirements and access constraints.

Teachers should use previous assessment material, progress checks and progress materials to establish this Expected School Score through the CED processes outlined in the VCAA guidelines.

The rank order established by the Expected School Scores may differ from the rank established from the Initial School Score generated ranking. The VCAA will not change the rank order provided by the school based on Expected Scores. This is why we seek support from schools to make sure the final rank order of students is correct based on these Expected Scores.

The spread and depth of the initial school-based scores may be different from previous years. The Expected Scores will factor in any individual disadvantage and, although the rank order may change, the depth and spread of marks may be different from previous years. This will be adjusted through the Statistical Moderation process.

If a school already introduced mitigation strategies to try to make sure school-based assessments reflected the previously demonstrated ability of all students, are those students still considered for CED?

Yes, all students are considered for CED, taking into consideration the school-based strategies introduced to mitigate any impact. Teachers are expected to review the current performance of each student in their class using all available evidence to make an informed assessment judgement.

Home schools and assessing schools

Are home schools responsible for sharing student statements with external providers or should external providers be asking students to complete these also?

Home schools cannot share a student statement without written permission from the student. Therefore, the assessing school may have to make the student statement available to their students. However, it is the home school’s responsibility to coordinate with the assessing school to ensure expected scores and expected grades are entered.

There will be some instances where the Assessing schools does not have VASS access, in these cases in consultation with the Assessing school the Home school will enter the enrolment, results and expected scores and expected grades.

How does CED work when the home school is not the assessing school?

It is the responsibility of the Assessing schools to enter expected scores and grades. For schools with students studying at a different assessing school, it is the home school’s responsibility to coordinate with the assessing school to ensure the expected scores and expected grades. Home schools will be able to view expected scores and expected grades entered for their students if assessed at another school.

Student statements

Can the student statements be completed electronically?

Yes, they can be collected electronically (for example, using Google forms or MS forms), as long as identical information is collected.

When should student statements be submitted?

Collection of student statements can be managed at school level in order to align with their process for CED data confirmation and the due date for VASS entry. Schools are encouraged to distribute the statements as soon as possible.

When completing their statement, should students be considering impacts in 2021 and 2020?

Students should complete the statement in terms of the impacts on them in 2021. If issues from 2020 are continuing to affect them their Unit 34 studies this year then this may be reflected in their responses.

Should students complete a Student Statement for Unit 3 and then again for Unit 4? Or is once enough?

Student statements should be collected and considered in time for the first deadline for submission of Expected Scores and Expected Grades. It is intended that students complete one statement in relation to all their studies. However, in exceptional circumstances, the school may decide to accept an additional statement if new issues arise that may affect Unit 4 results.

If a student didn't complete a Student Statement, will this impact their results and CED?

No. Student results and how students are considered through the CED process will not be impacted if they did not submit a Student Statement.

The submission of a Student Statement is optional but could be important to outline a student's individual circumstances, especially if their teacher or school are unaware of these. Teachers will make a professional judgement based on all available information about a student, student performance during the year and the degree to which student performance was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Every student will be considered through the CED process, which involves collecting information from students and schools, validating evidence and moderating scores and grades. The VCAA will undertake a robust analysis and moderation process based on the data and consider every student's performance in every study and in each assessment.

Results

2021 Results Release Date

The VCE and VCAL results release date is 16 December 2021.

This is to allow the time needed to complete the CED process and the additional statistical analysis required to support it.

Is there an appeal process?

If students wish to find out more information about their results, they can request a Statement of Marks and a Statement of Study Score:

  • The Statement of Marks shows the score student received for each question or criterion on an external assessment. It also provides a range of scores that correspond to the grades the student received.
  • The Statement of Study Scores provides a detailed breakdown of how the student's study score was calculated.

If a student requires support to interpret their scores, they should contact their school to help them understand how the CED has affected their school-based assessment scores and the Expected Grade for their external assessment.

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

Will CED be reported on a student’s Statement of Results?

No. Student Certification in 2021 including the Statement of Results will be reported in the same manner as in previous years and will not indicate the process or record the outcome of CED.

 

VCE assessment

Onsite attendance for preparation and participation in Essential Assessments

The Acting Victorian Chief Health Officer (CHO) has approved additional studies,  to the restricted list of Permitted Essential Assessments for students enrolled to attend onsite from Monday 6 September 2021. 

In conducting permitted Essential Assessments onsite, all providers must follow all COVID-Safe Settings and Department of Education and Training guidelines (including guidance as outlined in School Operations Guide) as well as specific health controls for Essential Assessments for VCE and VCAL (docx - 69.5kb).

Due to the number of mystery cases in the community and the large number of young people impacted in this outbreak, additional public health measures for Victorian students undergoing onsite assessments this week will be in place.

The Health Controls from Monday 6 September 2021 include:

  • For essential assessment in permitted Performing Arts studies onsite, students must be tested in the 72 hours before attending onsite
  • For essential assessments in permitted studies added from Monday 6 September 2021 on Monday/Tuesday (6 and 7 September) the preference is for students to have a COVID-19 test prior to attending onsite, if possible. If this is not possible, students must be tested immediately after being onsite (and no later than 48 hours after)
  • For students with assessments onsite from Wednesday/Thursday/Friday (8, 9 and 10 September), students must be tested in the 72 hours before attending onsite for assessments.
  • Evidence of a negative test result is not required before the assessment but must be provided to the school on request. Students can attend the assessment with their test result still pending but must advise the school immediately if they subsequently receive a positive result. This asymptomatic, surveillance testing approach is one currently used during outbreak periods and as such, students are not required to isolate after they get tested while they wait for their result.
  • All Permitted Essential Assessments to be conducted onsite are capped at a maximum of 10 participants per session.

COVID-19 testing sites have been informed of these requirements and will not require students to provide evidence to support asymptomatic testing.

Performing Arts studies have been prioritised due to performance examinations starting on 4 October 2021. The additional selected VCE VET programs are a priority as these programs have significant practical requirements to complete the third and final task for School-Assessed Coursework (SAC). These programs have equipment or materials requirements that are not available to students in any location other than the training environment.

Permitted Essential Assessment for attendance onsite from Monday 6 September 2021

These additional listed VCE VET programs at Unit 3–4 level only:

  • Engineering Studies (VCE VET)
  • Integrated Technologies (VCE VET)
  • Furnishing (VCE VET)
  • Hospitality Kitchen Operations (VCE VET)
  • Music Sound Production (VCE VET)
  • Laboratory Skills (VCE VET)

And

  • Music Style and Composition

Continuing Permitted Essential Assessments for attendance onsite in Performing Arts studies at Unit 3–4 level only (existing studies):

  • Dance
  • Dance (VCE VET)
  • Drama
  • Music Performance
  • Music Investigation
  • Music Performance (VCE VET)
  • Theatre Studies

Attendance onsite is restricted strictly to those participating in essential assessments for these studies where they cannot be conducted remotely.

For operational advice on implementation of existing and additional health controls, including cleaning, venue density and arrival and departure arrangements please contact the DET COVID-19 hotline: on 1800 338 663. This operates from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays). If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 first.

Conducting school-based assessments during remote learning

Schools can choose the conditions and arrangements for school-based assessments. These conditions must meet the VCE assessment principles (docx - 68.73kb), study design requirements and VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook specifications. You may consider delivering school-based assessments remotely or may choose to reschedule for a later date when face-to-face learning resumes.

The VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook 2021 outlines the rules, regulations and policies governing VCE and VCAL delivery. The following links will help you to develop, document and implement your school’s assessment and authentication policies, processes and strategies during this time:

Important dates

Please note the following deadlines for entering VCE scores and results in VASS:

  • Unit 3 school-based assessment results – Monday 6 September
  • Unit 4 school-based assessment results – Wednesday 3 November.

Assessment integrity

To maintain the integrity of VCE assessments during remote learning, we advise schools and teachers to:

  • consider the full range of assessment task options in each study design and select the type that is most appropriate for a remote and flexible learning setting to assess student performance for the outcome
  • ensure that questions and task requirements assess if students have a conceptual understanding of the key knowledge and can apply the key skills, rather than simply recall information through memorisation
  • consider the length of the time allocated and the assessment conditions that are best suited for remote and flexible learning
  • provide students with clear written details of the school’s rules, procedures and authentication requirements relating to school-based assessment and the VCAA rules, in particular ‘Students must not cheat or assist other students to cheat, including taking any action that gives or attempts to give them or another student an unfair advantage’
  • ask students to fill in an Authentication Record for School-based Assessment form (pdf - 56.83kb) (also available from VASS Downloads) for any school-based assessment work they complete outside of the classroom. This form requires students to declare that all resource materials and assistance have been acknowledged and that all unacknowledged work is their own. You can collect and maintain these declarations during periods of remote learning in several ways, including:
    • asking students to submit the declaration with their school-based assessment work, either on the cover or the work itself, in their submission email or through a learning management system
    • using an online form created using platforms such as Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, Survey Monkey or Compass Insights
    • asking students to record their declaration via video or audio, which they can submit using email or through a learning management system
    • waiting until students return to school to sign the declaration. In this case, tell students at the start that this will happen.

Authenticating remote assessments

Teachers are responsible for judging a student’s satisfactory completion of a unit and for assessing each student’s level of achievement in Units 3 and 4 outcomes. By reporting satisfactory completion, you certify that students have achieved the set of outcomes for the unit according to the rules set out by the VCAA and your school. If any part or all of a student’s work cannot be authenticated, the matter must be dealt with as a breach of rules.

You can authenticate remote school-based assessments through a learning management system (LMS), cloud-based file management tool or similar third-party software. Methods of authenticating assessments include:

  • releasing the school-based assessment to students at the beginning of a remote lesson, with clear instructions for students to submit their responses at the end of the lesson
  • providing temporary access to the school-based assessment
  • using a read receipt to track when a student has accessed an emailed assessment
  • using an LMS or video conference to provide instruction, observe students and ask questions
  • asking students to email short-answer responses under timed sessions
  • asking students to present oral tasks using video technology
  • asking students to document the specific stages of the development of their work, starting with an early part of the task, such as the topic choice, list of resources or preliminary research. Copies of each student’s written work should be regularly monitored and submitted at given stages in their development
  • using a video conference to validate individual school-based assessments after submission
  • ensuring that, where there are multiple classes for a particular study, students in all classes access school-based assessments simultaneously. If this is not possible, the assessment task should be suitably modified for each class
  • asking students to demonstrate their understanding of assessed outcomes when, or around the time, they submit their work.

A proportion of a school-assessed task (SAT) can be completed remotely, as long as students thoroughly document the authentication process in their folio and regularly check-in with a teacher. This may also be done via a video conference during the marking process.

2021 VCE examinations

End of year VCE written examinations will be held between Wednesday 27 October and Wednesday 17 November 2021. See the full VCE examination timetable on our website for more information.

Withdrawing from VCE units

The last day for official withdrawal from VCE Unit 4 or VCE VET scored Unit 3 and 4 units of competency was Monday 19 July 2021.

The last day for official enrolment and withdrawal from VCE Units 1 and 2 is Monday 8 November 2021.

VCE study designs

For 2021, the curriculum and assessment requirements for the units in the individual VCE study are in accordance with the original, unadjusted study design. It is imperative that the revised 2020 Adjusted Study Designs are not used in the delivery of the VCE in 2021. The correct study design for 2021 can be located on each VCE study webpage identifiable by the blue box containing the link to the study design. The 2020 Adjusted Study Designs have now been removed from all VCE study webpages

Will there be changes to VCE study designs or exams like last year?

As we are now well into the delivery of Unit 4, there will be no changes to the following:

  • study design or examination content
  • VCE performance, Languages oral or written examination dates

Applying a fair and consistent approach for all students is paramount to any change we make. As schools and students will be at various stages of Unit 4 delivery, there is no way to make accommodations to study designs or examinations that will be fair and consistent to all students.

Last year we began amendments to Study Designs at the end of Term 1. This year we are now well into Unit 4 teaching. We have no way of knowing which content has been covered already from school to school and from subject to subject, so it is not possible to roll over last year’s changes as it would not be fair to each and every student. We are confident the CED process will ensure all students have the opportunity to be assessed fairly.

Unit 3 and 4 study-specific advice for school-based assessments

Each VCE study design has some inherent flexibility around the delivery of school-based assessment. Schools can make decisions about the conditions and arrangements for these school-based assessments in line with the study design requirements, including how to use the mandated assessment criteria for School-Assessed Task (SAT) studies to assess and rank your cohort of students.

The following subject specific advice can be used by schools to inform their decisions to support VCE Unit 3–4 studies with practical school-based assessments to be conducted remotely during periods of remote and flexible learning.

For SAT studies, additional advice about the authentication of the SAT is in the Administrative information for School-based Assessment in 2021 document on the relevant study design page. It is also important that teachers use the SAT Authentication record form to provide feedback, observations and comments on a student’s work for the SAT. Should it not be possible for your students to complete their SAT as intended or planned in the remaining time, schools can use the CED process to account for this disruption to a student’s learning.

VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies

  • Practical activities, such as data analysis or virtual reality experiences, can be done remotely.
  • Schools must follow the public health directions when undertaking practical tasks.
  • Safety with using any tools or equipment in VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies when determining the practical tasks to be completed remotely is paramount.
  • Schools may choose to adopt the Special Provision: Classroom learning and School-based Assessment strategy of replacing a task with the different type or setting a substitute task of the same type. For example, students may use teacher-generated primary data from practical activities, such as scientific trials and experiments, or refer to online examples of business or entrepreneurial practices to complete classroom learning and assessment.

VCE Algorithmics (HESS)

Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work.

Unit 4 Written explanation

  • Some students may still be completing the Unit 4 Written explanation SAT task.
  • Each part of the written explanation SAT task could be completed in a timed environment of 45–60 minutes, with the questions provided to students at the start of the timed period.
  • Students may submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher using, for example, email or a learning management system.
  • Students may need some extra time for preparing documentation for submission, such as scanning and emailing.

Unit 4 Design of an algorithm

  • Some students may still be completing the Unit 4 Design of an algorithm SAT task.
  • The formal analysis SAT task could be modified to have students share their documents with their teacher at regular intervals to confirm authentication.
  • The response to a naïve algorithm SAT task could be modified by breaking it up into smaller tasks over several sessions to allow teacher observation, with students sharing their documents with their teacher at regular intervals to confirm authentication.
  • Students may submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher using, for example, email or a learning management system.
  • Students may need some extra time for preparing documentation for submission, such as scanning and emailing.

Unit 4 Explanation of the universality of computation and algorithms

  • Some schools may still be completing the Unit 4 Explanation of the universality of computation and algorithms SAT task. · The assessment task could be modified by breaking it up into smaller tasks and done over several time allocations to confirm authentication.
  • Students could share their documents with their teachers during development.
  • Students may submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher using, for example, email or a learning management system.
  • Students may need some extra time for preparing documentation for submission, such as scanning and emailing.

VCE Applied Computing: Data Analytics

Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work.

Unit 4 Outcome 1

  • Students must submit evidence of their progression of the task for each observation. This could include images of work, submission of partially completed work and solutions via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage.

Unit 4 Outcome 2

  • Students could complete the case study in two one-hour sessions.
  • Session 1 could be one hour, with students given the first part of the case study and the relevant questions. Students could submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher either via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage.
  • Session 2 could be one hour, with students given the second part of the case study and the relevant questions. Students could submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher either via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage.

VCE Applied Computing: Software Development

Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work.

Unit 4 Outcome 1

  • Students must submit evidence of their progression of the task for each observation. This could include images of work, submission of partially completed work and solutions via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage

Unit 4 Outcome 2

  • Students could complete the case study in two one-hour sessions
  • Session 1 could be one hour, with students given the first part of the case study and the relevant questions. Students could submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher either via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage
  • Session 2 could be one hour, with students given the second part of the case study and the relevant questions. Students could submit their responses at the end of the session to their teacher either via email, a learning management system or secure cloud-based storage
  • Students may need extra time for preparing documentation for submission, such as scanning and emailing

VCE Art

  • Schools should provide flexibility to students who may not have access to a variety of materials and art forms for Unit 4 Area of Study 2
  • Students can document and demonstrate through sketches, trials and photographs the realisation of artwork(s) in their body of work if they are unable to produce a final artwork. The resolution of ideas, materials and techniques should be documented through the analytical frameworks and visual language
  • Artworks from Unit 3 can be developed further as realisation for Unit 4. Development and transition from Unit 3 to Unit 4 must be shown in the body of work. Students should make sure that any changes to the development of their work due to changed conditions is clearly documented in the folio

VCE Drama and Theatre Studies

  • Due to the cancellation of some plays from the 2021 VCE Playlist, it will be possible to access a filmed performance of a play from the list if it is not possible to see a live performance
  • We encourage you to access live theatre should public health directions allow. However, analysis of the filmed plays from the list will be acceptable for purposes of assessment. No student will be disadvantaged if they access a filmed performance rather than a live theatre performance

VCE Food Studies

  • Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work
  • Practical activities, such as sensory analysis, product analysis and dietary analysis, could be done remotely
  • Schools must follow the public health directions when undertaking practical activities. Safety with using any tools or equipment in VCE Food Studies when determining the practical activities to be completed remotely is paramount
  • Schools may choose to adopt the Special Provision: Classroom learning and School-based Assessment strategy of replacing a task with the different type or setting a substitute task of the same type. For example, students may use teacher-generated primary data from practical activities, such as scientific experiments, to complete classroom learning and assessment

VCE Media

  • Schools should be flexible in providing advice and support for students undertaking the SAT
  • Students must follow the public health directions when completing their intended production. If students cannot make their intended production, they can make amendments to the production design, including changing the intention, narrative, audience, codes and conventions
  • If technologies and equipment are unavailable to the students to refine and resolve their production, they may switch their media form to meet the requirements of Unit 4 Outcome 1. Students must document the changes on the production design for the assessment of Criteria 8–10. They are not required to rewrite their production design. Students must be able to present their production to an audience and obtain feedback to fulfil the assessment requirements of the SAT

VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies

  • Schools must follow the public health directions when undertaking practical experiences.
  • Students may need to draw on previous (school based or personal) practical or virtual outdoor experiences if they cannot undertake practical experiences due to COVID-19 safety requirements
  • Teachers are encouraged to consider outdoor experiences that students can access in their local area that will allow them to demonstrate their understanding of the links between at least one aspect of the theoretical content studied and the practical experience undertaken
  • Teachers are to provide students with relevant examples of outdoor environments to study when they are unable to physically visit the environments. Students will continue to refer to specific environments that they have either visited or studied in their assessment tasks

VCE Product Design and Technology

  • Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work
  • Schools must follow the public health directions when undertaking practical work. Safety with using any tools, equipment or machinery in VCE Product Design and Technology when determining the proportion of SAT to be completed remotely is paramount
  • • It may not be possible for students to complete their SAT as intended or planned in the remaining time. Schools may choose to adopt the Special Provision: Classroom learning and School-based Assessment strategy of replacing a task with the different type or setting a substitute task of the same type. For example, students may create a model or prototype of their product rather than producing the actual product. It is important that the same indicators in each of the assessment criteria are used to rank the school’s cohort of students

VCE Science studies – Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology

The requirement for students to design a practical investigation, and to generate primary data as part of the Unit 4 Outcome 3 SAC task, can be managed using several strategies

Strategy 1

  • Teachers produce a video or conducts a ‘real-time’ experiment online with students recording the primary data in their logbooks. This meets the assessment requirement for students to obtain primary data, which will be used as the basis of the SAC task
  • A SAC task is divided into three parts:
    • Part 1 involves the analysis of primary data – a set of structured questions or general open question requiring students to analyse results, construct graphs (including error/uncertainty bars for VCE Physics) and draw conclusions. Students may plot their own data if authentication is not an issue, or the teacher may collect and allocate students different de-identified data sets, or student data could be collated and presented as a single class data set for analysis
    • Part 2 assesses student ability to design an experiment – for example, the task could ask students how they would modify the original experiment to improve quality of data (such as improved method, different technique or an investigation extension by testing a different variable or hypothesis)
    • Part 3 involves the poster write up

Strategy 2

  • Teachers provide a simulation or virtual experiment that students can access at home to generate and record primary data in their logbooks, or teachers may organise a simple method to generate primary data that students could complete using equipment available in the home or, if fieldwork is an option to generate primary data in their local environment (dependent on the public health advice) • For VCE Psychology, students could adapt an existing face-to-face method that allows them to generate primary data using participants accessed via online platforms
  • For VCE Environmental Science, students could develop an online stakeholder survey to generate primary data
  • Students could submit their results to the teacher, who then collates data into a single class data set or students could be given other students’ de-identified primary data to analyse. For VCE Physics, since two independent continuous variables are required, students could be organised into groups so that at least two different variables are investigated
  • As for strategy 1, SAC task may be divided into 3 parts: analysis of primary data, ability to design an investigation and poster write up
  • For VCE Physics, data for the SAC task can relate to their own investigated variable and/or to the second (or other) independent variable. The assessment of a student’s capacity to design an investigation may involve a task such as, outlining a method by which their own variable could be investigated in class using an improved method or technique and/or as an extension (coupled) experiment. Students could also evaluate the ‘home method’ investigation task and explain how it could be improved to obtain valid data

Strategy 3

  • Students may use already generated primary data from a practical investigation they have already conducted this year that has not already formed the basis of another SAC task to undertake the analysis of data/designing an investigation as described above
  • Students could submit their results to the teacher, who then collates data into a single class data set or students could be given other students’ de-identified primary data to analyse, or they may be asked to compare their own prior results (from their logbooks) with an unfamiliar data set (real or constructed) provided by the teacher
  • As for Strategy 1, the SAC task may be divided into three parts: analysis of primary data, ability to design an investigation and poster write up

Poster

  • Since the study design says ‘not exceeding 1,000 words’, teachers could ask students to construct a smaller poster of less than 1000 words, as long as all students have the same word limit.

VCE Studio Arts

  • Schools should provide flexibility to students who may not have access to a variety of materials and art forms for Unit 4 Area of Study 1
  • If there is any change to the resolved artworks from the potential directions identified at the start of Unit 4, these changes must be clearly documented in the studio folio. Use of materials, techniques, processes and aesthetic qualities can be demonstrated as trials, or documented as photographs and placed in a visual diary with documentations about their initial intentions for Unit 4. The visual diary can be submitted digitally
  • Consideration should be provided when assessing students on the achievement of Outcome 1 and 2 of the SAT based on the resources and equipment available to them. Decisions about the assessment of the SAT for Criteria 6–10 must be confirmed through written and visual documentation provided by the student and documented on the Authentication Record Form for the SAT. This documentation can be achieved through a collaborative online platform or video conferencing software

Unit 4 Area of Study 3 – Art industry contexts

  • Due to limited access for school groups to visit exhibitions for Unit 4 Studio Arts, students may study virtual exhibitions to complete the Outcome 3 requirement of visiting at least two exhibitions in the year of study
  • We encourage you to visit an exhibition should public health directions allow. However, studying virtual exhibitions will be acceptable for purposes of assessment

VCE Systems Engineering

  • Regular contact with students should be made to support teaching and learning and authentication of student work
  • Schools must follow the public health directions when undertaking practical work. Safety with using any tools, equipment or machinery in VCE Systems Engineering when determining the proportion of SAT to be completed remotely is paramount.
  • It may not be possible for students to complete their SAT as intended or planned in the remaining time. Schools may choose to adopt the Special Provision: Classroom learning and School-based Assessment strategy of replacing a task with the different type or setting a substitute task of the same type. For example, students may create a model or simulation of their system rather than produce the actual system. It is important that the same indicators in each of the assessment criteria are used to rank the school’s cohort of students.

VCE Visual Communication Design

  • Schools should provide flexibility to students who may not have access to a variety of materials, media and methods to produce two final visual communication design presentations for Unit 4 Area of Study 1 and 2
  • The school will have established the brief for the SAT with the student at the end of Unit 3. Therefore, schools should accommodate any valid changes to the student’s design process if they do not have access to materials, methods and media to complete the task. Any changes to the brief and the process should be validated through student documentation of the reasons for the change
  • Students must also submit their two final presentations for feedback and respond to it to fulfil the assessment criteria for Unit 4 Outcome 1 and 2 (Criterion 7). They must demonstrate refinement of two final presentations that meet the requirements of the brief and demonstrate technical competence in the materials, media and methods available to them (Criteria 8–10)

Structured Workplace Learning in VCE Industry and Enterprise

VCE Industry and Enterprise requires students to undertake structured workplace learning in educational, community and/or industry settings. Please refer to the advice regarding undertaking SWL during coronavirus (COVID-19) published by the Department of Education and Training.

VCE Industry and Enterprise 2020–21 alternative structured workplace learning activity

VCE Industry and Enterprise requires students to undertake structured workplace learning in educational, community and/or industry settings at Units 1, 2 and 3. Students develop work-related skills and observe, investigate and reflect on activities and issues related to personal structured workplace learning.

The 2019–2023 VCE Industry and Enterprise study design (p. 11) currently lists the following settings as appropriate for structured workplace learning:

  • private enterprise or public sector workplace
  • community-based workplaces
  • participation in community enterprise projects and activities
  • ongoing, short-term or one-off structured student-initiated enterprise projects in the school or community
  • part-time or casual work out of school hours
  • on-the-job training as part of a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

These settings still apply and are appropriate during 2020 and 2021.

However, during 2020 and 2021, if students are unable to complete the required hours of structured workplace learning for the unit due to COVID-19 safety requirements, they may undertake the following alternative activity in lieu of the structured workplace learning:

  • Students may conduct a series of interviews with a person who is currently employed in a workplace, and has been a member of the workforce for a period of more than 12 months. A report addressing the relevant outcomes, key knowledge and key skills within the unit being undertaken will then be developed. This report must also address the outcomes specific to the unit being undertaken by the student. The interviews and report will explore the following:
    • identification and application of relevant work-related skills in the workplace
    • identification of the development of the interviewee’s work-related skills, including the use of self-assessment
    • a typical daily record and brief outline of tasks completed by the interviewee, including work-related skills practised and how work performance is assessed.

Please refer to Advice for teachers when framing or devising this alternative activity.

International students

On Friday 7 May 2021, the Minister for Education approved Victorian schools to continue delivering courses online to international students until the end of Term 2, 2022.

Queries about international students completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequences overseas should be directed to the VCAA International Unit.

VCAL

Special consideration

Special consideration for VCAL and non-scored VET units

Advice regarding implementation guidelines for Special Consideration for VCAL and VET Unspecified Credit processes is now available as a VASS dowload. These processes will help make sure that all students are treated with fairness and equity and supported to complete their senior secondary education in 2021.

These guidelines will support principals, VCAL teachers and VET trainers to understand and apply the 2021 Special Consideration to VCAL units. They also outline how schools and non-school senior secondary providers can apply to the VCAA for unspecified credits for unscored VET units for VCE and VCAL students.

Schools will be able to apply special consideration to VCAL units where a student has made reasonable progress, attempted to complete all learning and demonstrated all learning outcomes; and the teacher considers that the student would have successfully completed the unit without the interruptions to face-to-face learning.

The VCAA may grant VCE and VCAL students 'unspecified credit' for non-scored VET if they were unable to complete units of competency due to the interruptions to onsite learning, an inability to access training or workplace facilities for VET assessment or the postponement of VET courses. This 'unspecified credit' could meet the requirements of the Industry Specific Skills Strand for VCAL or provide an additional unit for VCE. Applications for unspecified credit need to be submitted by 8 November 2021.

For more details please contact vet.vcaa@education.vic.gov.au or vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au

Eligible VCAL programs

Ensuring VCAL students are enrolled in an eligible program

Schools are reminded of the importance of running an eligibility report in VASS to ensure a student is enrolled in an eligible program. This will help to ensure that you are delivering a VCAL program that matches the student's level of enrolment. For further information, refer to the Using the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) webpage. For support in interpreting an eligibility report, contact the VCAL unit on 03 9032 1725 or vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au.

Carry forward of credit

While you are encouraged to deliver broad programs for all students, the qualification rules state that students must have completed a total value of ten credits, with six credits being at the level of the VCAL award in which they are enrolled or above. This means that students can either:

  • carry credit from a VCAL level completed the previous year, as long as it is one level below that of the student's current enrolment. For example, a student currently enrolled in Senior level VCAL and who completed an Intermediate level VCAL last year, can carry four Intermediate credits (units) into this year's Senior VCAL enrolment
  • enrol in a VCAL level, for example Senior level, but opt to do four of the units at the level below, that is, Intermediate.

It is important that you run an eligibility report to ensure that the qualification requirements are met. For more information, contact the VCAL unit via email vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au or consult the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

VET requirement for VCAL students

The VET requirement for VCAL students remains the same as in previous years. At the Intermediate and Senior VCAL levels, students must complete a minimum of 90 hours of units of competency to meet the Industry Specific Skills (ISS) Strand requirement. Foundation VCAL students have the additional option of completing selected VCE units to meet the ISS Strand requirement.

For specific questions about VET, contact the VET unit on (03) 9032 1737 or vet.vcaa@education.vic.gov.au.

Structured Workplace Learning

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is a recommended but not mandated part of VCAL.

Schools are required to refer to the advice regarding undertaking SWL published by the Department of Education.

VET

General information

Delivery of VET to secondary students

TAFEs and RTOs are continuing to support students accessing on-site and remote learning options for VET delivered to secondary students. There may be some differences in the way classes are delivered and assessed which should be determined by the school. Regular updates are being provided on conducting practical assessment and return to training facilities for students in their final year of schooling.

Where credit from VET is a factor in possible non completion of the VCE or VCAL schools should work with their RTO or cluster partners to have results of completed Units of Competency provided and entered into VASS to provide a clear picture of what actions are required.

Practical training and assessment are to be conducted according to the requirements of the unit of competency in an appropriately resourced training environment. In some cases, this may see an amendment to earlier arrangements with the RTO, including the replacement of some previously selected units with more knowledge or theory-based units.

Where a student is undertaking a VET certificate and relying on credit from that certificate for the completion of their VCE or VCAL, schools are required to run an eligibility report to determine how credit from the VET certificate may impact on their eligibility.

Structured Workplace Learning

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) provides a valuable contribution to a student's learning where it is aligned to a VET certificate. The VCAA strongly supports students undertaking SWL to enhance their knowledge and skills gained through undertaking a VET certificate.

The requirements for SWL published by the Department of Education and Training can be found on their website.

Workplace Learning Recognition and VET

The VCAA has determined that the time spent in a workplace on SWL related to a VCE VET program can provide access to credit towards the VCE or VCAL for Workplace Learning Recognition. Students are required to reflect on the number of units of competency identified in either the VCE VET program specific or generic Apprenticeship or Traineeship Workplace Learning Record.

Workplace Learning Recognition requirements have been amended to enable students to continue their reflections where the total workplace time is less than 80 hours and / or their training enrolment will be less than the 180 hours normally required. This can also enable part time employment related to the students VET to be used to meet the workplace requirement for 2021.

Mandated SWL for VET qualifications or Units of Competency

In some VET certificates units of competency may contain a mandated workplace component. This is unable to be changed as it is an inherent part of the assessment requirements of that unit. In this case a suitable placement should be sought as soon as possible following easing of restrictions or alternate units may be negotiated with the RTO.

Further VET advice

The VCAA will provide further advice on the following measures to support VCE or VCAL students undertaking VET:

  • Adjustments to VCE VET Scored assessment, where the third and final task requiring practical assessment is unable to be completed.
  • The provision of VET Unspecified Credit where VCE or VCAL students in their final year are unable to complete the required hours of units of competency to satisfy the VCE or VCAL.

The VCAA may grant VCE and VCAL students ‘unspecified credit’ for non-scored VET if they were unable to complete units of competency due to the interruptions to onsite learning, an inability to access training or workplace facilities for VET assessment or the postponement of VET courses. This ‘unspecified credit’ could meet the requirements of the Industry Specific Skills Strand for VCAL or provide an additional unit for VCE. Applications for unspecified credit need to be submitted by 8 November 2021.

For more details please contact vet.vcaa@education.vic.gov.au or vcaa.vcal@education.vic.gov.au

Foundation – 10

Advice for remote and flexible learning