School apology for course ‘error’


A SYLLABUS mix-up at Peninsula Grammar School, Mt Eliza had the community buzzing on Friday.

Principal Stuart Johnston said he “unreservedly apologised to students and their families” over the error, uncovered in October, in which material taught in two units of a VCE subject was not part of the official course.

In a statement, Mr Johnston said the school had “identified differences in cross-marked grades awarded to students of the visual communications design course offered by the school”.

“These errors were due to both teacher error, and failures in our oversight processes in the faculty,” Mr Johnston stated.

“We deeply regret the circumstances which have led to this issue, and their unintended impacts on the 27 students involved.

“A thorough review of our school-wide policies and procedures has begun to ensure this does not happen again at any year level.”

Mr Johnston said the school had immediately notified the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority which conducted an independent and objective assessment of each student.

“From the moment we became aware of this error, the best interests and welfare of our students have been paramount in every action we have taken,” he said.

“On 7 December, VCAA advised the school that they had undertaken a thorough analysis of all student results. On 12 December, VCAA further advised … that they had taken steps to ensure no student [was] disadvantaged, and all students [had] received a fair outcome.

“Each student has been awarded a VCD study score accordingly. These outcomes have been incorporated in the VCE results released today, Friday 14 December 2018.”

An action plan “tailored to each of these students” earmarks a range of future interventions and assistance, including advocacy by Mr Johnston at universities and TAFEs; additional written references for each affected student and sent on their behalf in advance of university offers; careers counsellor support on call, in person or by telephone, and individual one-on-one support from the principal … for all students and families through to the start of next year.

Speaking on Radio 3AW Mr Johnston said the students’ final results were not affected.

“Things go wrong in schools,” he said. “When they do, there’s a provision within the handbook that you contact VCAA when this happens, and you’re honest about the problem.

“They do the best they can to support the students so they’re not disadvantaged.

“It’s devastating. We’re incredibly upset, very remorseful and very sorry.”

Mr Johnston said both the teacher of the subject and the school’s oversight processes were at fault.

“There will be consequences for those involved,” he said.

First published in the Mornington News – 18 December 2018


Comments are closed.