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School's Out

School’s out and we have a new herd of Year 12 graduates leaving their schooling life and days of pounding the pavements of Glenferrie Hawthorn behind them.

The City of Boroondara is home to 23 secondary schools, 6 Government and 17 Non-Government, and has one of the largest densities of secondary schools in Melbourne with a rapidly increasing overall student population. With this cumulative volume of local high schools, the Victorian Government has a running initiative designed to ensure year 10-12 students are on the right pathway for further education, training and employment after graduating high school.

For many Year 12 students, graduating secondary school can be an extremely exciting time, but it can also become a redoubtable push towards the possibilities that lie ahead. After sitting their final school exams during November the Year 12 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) study scores and student Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) will be available online for students from 7:00am Friday 15 December.

The Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC) explains that “the ATAR is calculated by VTAC solely for the use of tertiary institutions to compare the overall achievement of students who have completed different combinations of VCE studies” and they stress that it is a ranking and not a score. For a lot of students, the ATAR holds a large deposit of what they might expect for their future. Life after graduation can become a very confusing time for some students trying to figure out what they would like to do in the new year. Higher education and Tertiary study, an overseas gap year or work are the top three options for Year 12 graduates. Other students may go on towards a trade-apprenticeship, full time work or heading overseas on a long or short term working and travel holiday. There are countless opportunities to choose from when entering the adult world, the problem is just trying to choose one.

During the period immediately after graduation and while students await their highly anticipated ATAR results there is a sense of buoyancy and ignorant bliss as the future is out of your hands. During this time students head off to Schoolies. “Schoolie’s Week is a three-week graduation festival celebrated by Year 12 school leavers from every corner of Australia” ( Popular destinations for Schoolie’s Week are the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach and Lorne.

After students receive their ATAR, and tertiary study is something they are considering, they then have to wait to receive an offer from their preferences of tertiary courses already submitted to VTAC. The Round One offers are released 16 January 2019. This is the day the Year 12 graduates have the next chapter of their lives presented to them, and it is up to them to accept or not. Data from the On Track program, shows that in 2013 more than three quarters of students who graduated Year 12 in City of Boroondara did move into tertiary education the following year. Whatever this year’s group of school leavers decide to do in the following year, we wish them a safe and enjoyable journey.

*Original article published 5 December 2017

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