Senior Secondary Reform

Victoria is moving to a new integrated senior secondary certificate in 2023, which will be fully integrated by 2025. This will bring together the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) certificates. These reforms will ensure every student has the skills they need to find rewarding careers and reach their full potential.

The Challenge

The new VCE has been introduced in 2023 to create one universal certificate for Victorian Secondary students.

It is intended that students undertaking these pathways will have access to an enriched curriculum as well as relevant workplace experiences based on their career goals that will develop their real-world knowledge, and technical and transferrable skills that will set them up for further education and employment.

The certificate reforms are part of a suite of 38 recommendations from the review into vocational and applied learning pathways for senior secondary students (the Firth Review), led by former VCAA Chief Executive Officer, John Firth.

The Firth Review found that we need to do more to make vocational and applied learning in schools consistently high quality, relevant to the needs of students and employers, and accessible to all students across the state. Key recommendations included creating a new vocational and applied learning pathway within the VCE and a new foundation certificate.

"The Victorian Government will continue its long and proud partnership with the 31 Local Learning and Employment Networks who deliver this program. The program will match students with work-based learning opportunities in the community.... [and] provide a clear front door for industry to engage with students and schools."

Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Education

The Result

To best support schools in navigating this period of transition, and to support the continuation of VET delivery in the Gateway LLEN region in this period of change, Gateway LLEN has:

  • established of a regional working group to identify strategic actions in response to the Firth Review and recommendations, Senior Secondary Reform (SSR) and the Macklin Review. The working group consisted of members from a cross-section of stakeholders including government secondary schools, TAFE and other RTO’s and associated sector professionals.
  • continues to conduct targeted consultations with secondary schools across the Gateway region regarding Firth recommendations and SSR, to inform forward strategic planning and develop a regional feedback response to the “Review into vocational and applied learning pathways in senior secondary schooling”.
  • facilitated a Senior Secondary Reform (SSR) regional briefing conducted by the CEO of the Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA).
  • taken a lead role in setting up and facilitating a localised Community of Practice. The Community of Practice is a regional approach to school improvement where member schools work collaboratively with a common purpose. Through sharing knowledge, we aim to build better practice and learner outcomes while implementing the Senior Secondary Reforms.