Unpacking School VCE Results

Each year, Victorian schools publish statistics on the VCE results achieved by their graduating cohort. What do the numbers mean in terms of a school’s performance and what insights can they provide parents about the quality of education on offer?

Mentone Grammar Head of Senior School, Cameron Lancaster, said schools publish their VCE results for two reasons. The first is to proudly celebrate with the community the hard work and effort of each student group. 

“The results themselves are just the tip of the iceberg of everything that the students have experienced, achieved and developed together over the course of their education. It marks the very last step in a long, challenging and momentous journey; one which should be marked with celebration.”

“The second reason is to provide prospective parents with a measure of the impact that a school’s learning environment has on student outcomes. VCE results provide parents with another tool in which to evaluate school performance. However, it is important to highlight both the value and limitations of the statistics.”

What do the VCE results indicate about a school?

“Strong VCE results indicate that our school’s academic program and the mechanisms supporting it are effective. We invest in innovation, high-quality staff and learning resources to ensure we are offering our students a progressive education.

“However, our most powerful tool is our school culture. Our commitment to ‘happy, healthy and high achieving’ students means that we place the wellbeing of our students first, knowing that their health and happiness is the greatest driver of their success.

“What VCE results do not tell you, is the level of growth achieved by individual students or whether they have reached their personal best. They also are not reflective of character, well-roundedness and personal skills. For a non-selective entry school, these are results that matter the most.”

How should parents interpret a school’s results?

“The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, or ATAR, is calculated solely for the use of tertiary institutions to compare the overall achievement of students. At its base, an ATAR score is simply a key to a door. ‘Were students able to access the pathways they wanted to pursue?’

“Median scores are a great indication of a school’s performance as it takes into account the whole student body. Not every student aspires to be in the top 5% of academia but every student has their own definition of success. Median scores demonstrate that all students were supported to excel regardless of their personal goals.

“DUX is the highest mark achieved by a student in that year level. It gives an indication to younger students aspiring for high academic achievement that if they invest time and effort into their studies, the school offers the resources and opportunities they need to attain a similar level.

“As a school, Mentone Grammar celebrates our long history of VCE success along with a wide array of student accomplishments, spanning VCAL, sports, arts, business, community service and so many unique personal pursuits.” 

In 2019, Mentone Grammar was awarded The Age ‘Schools that Excel’ Award and Applied Learning ‘School of the Year’.

Read more about 2019 VCE Results.

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