As an Australia-wide testing program of literacy and numeracy for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, NAPLAN provides us with the data to calculate the percentage of students achieving results at or above the national minimum standard in the five domains: Grammar and Punctuation, Numeracy, Reading, Spelling and Writing. In 2017, we are delighted to report that 95% or more of Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of Melbourne achieved results at or above the minimum standard in each of the domains.
One of the most important measures of a school’s success story is the rate of satisfactory completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). In 2017, 39 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne (62.9%) had 100% of their eligible students satisfactorily complete the VCE. A total of 59 schools (95.2%) had completion rates of at least 98%. There were only three Catholic schools with completion rates of less than 98%.
Considered to be the best indicator of the overall level of VCE achievement in a school, the median study score represents the ‘typical’ level of achievement of the school’s students. The average median score is set at 30 for each study (with the maximum score being 50). In 2017, the score for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne was 30.8, with a total of 49 Catholic schools (79.0%) in the middle range of median scoring 28–32. Ten Catholic schools (16.1%) had median study scores above 32, while only three schools (4.8%) were in the ‘below average’ category.
Exceptional performance is a score of 40 or above in any study (among the top 8% in the state). In 2017, there were 16 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne (25.8%) with more than 10% of the students’ study scores at 40 or above.
Catholic schools are committed to maximising students’ chances of completing Year 12 by providing an appropriate range of study options, including opportunities in the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and Vocational Education and Training (VET).
While evidence of strong student participation in VET and VCAL continued during 2016–2017, the average number of VET certificates offered in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne showed a slight decline to 20; and the average number of VET enrolments per school dropped from 124.9 to 120.3. However, the number of Catholic schools offering VCAL rose from 52 to 53, and the average number of students enrolled in VCAL rose from 37.4 to 37.7.
In 2017, 40 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne (64.5%) had their students complete VET units of competency at rates better than 90%. Only one school (1.6%) rated lower than 80%. Thirteen schools (24.5%) had students complete 100% of their VCAL units in 2017, while seven schools (13.2%) showed a completion rate lower than 90%.
As you can see in Table 1, more than half (58.5%) of our 2016 Year 12 leavers completing the On Track survey entered university.
This percentage is up 2.2% from 2015 (56.7%), and 3.7% above the figure for all Victorian schools (54.8%). This continues the Catholic school track-record for being consistently higher than state figures. However, Catholic school leavers enrolling in a TAFE/VET course is less than the state figure (12.9% compared to 14.3%). Nevertheless, 2015–2016 did see a slight increase in TAFE/VET enrolments.
In regards to apprenticeships and traineeships, both decreased in the Victorian Catholic sector between 2015 and 2016. This meant that Catholic figures were lower than all schools in the labour market destination categories in terms of employed (7.6% compared to 9.5%) and seeking employment (1.7% compared to 3.2%). The combined total of those either looking for work or not in the labour force, education or training (i.e. the ‘unemployed’ figure) was 2% and lower than the figures observed in the previous four years. Meanwhile, the percentage of students who deferred from study (11.5%) was higher than the state figure (9.8%).
Table 1: Destinations of students leaving Victorian schools after Year 12 (%), Victorian Catholic and all schools, 2012–2016.
|Destination||Victorian Catholic Schools (%)||All Victorian schools (%)|
|Looking for worka||2.1||2.1||2.1||1.8||1.7||3.6||3.5||3.6||3.8||3.2|
a) Figures exclude students who deferred.
b) Not in labour force, education or training.
c) Totals may not always equal exactly 100% due to rounding of individual percentages.
Source: On Track Survey Data 2016 (provided by the State of Victoria Department of Education and Training)