Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size

Standards and Benchmarking

Standards and Benchmarking

What does your state/territory understand by the terms standards and benchmarking?
How are standards and benchmarks currently applied in your state/territory? (current practice)
Briefly outline the work being done in the area of standards and benchmarking in your state/territory.

What does your state/territory understand by the terms standards and benchmarking?

Standards for student learning for Years Prep to 10 are explicit in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS). The standards specify the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of students at the end of six periods of learning, generally at two-year intervals. Standards are not set at every level in every domain but are introduced when age and developmentally appropriate. Standards in the VELS are set at a challenging level. Standards in the English and Mathematics domains are aligned to agreed national benchmarks, which are minimal statements of competence, in literacy and numeracy.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) provides benchmarks of actual school performance in key areas of school operations to government schools / student achievement, school management and VCE. Benchmarks provide common points of comparison, enabling schools to determine their own relative standards and to answer the question: ‘Is what we have achieved good enough?’

How are standards and benchmarks currently applied in your state/territory? (current practice)

The VELS are provided to Victorian schools as the basis for their development of teaching and learning programs and reporting student achievement to parents and the system.

Data are also extracted from school annual reports and used to develop a variety of benchmarks. These benchmarks allow schools to compare their own performance with the performance of other Victorian schools in key areas of school operations.

The results of statewide literacy and numeracy testing at Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are used to provide benchmark data annually to schools. From 2008, the Victorian statewide testing program will be replaced by the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. Results are provided in a way that enables schools to compare their performance with the performance achieved by other schools. This performance is aggregated from the performance of individual students.

School performance benchmarks are presented to schools across the state in groupings or categories of ‘like’ schools based on the demographic background of their students. ‘Like’ school groups were developed to enable schools to allow for the composition of their student populations in assessing their performance. Schools are urged to use benchmark data to analyse and improve their performances in terms of the benchmark results for the school.

Briefly outline the work being done in the area of standards and benchmarking in your state/territory.

The Victorian Essential Learning Standards were developed in 2005. The VELS replaced the previous Curriculum and Standards Framework. Schools began implementing them in 2006 over a period of three years, reporting initially to the system and parents in 2006 in English and Mathematics. Support materials have been developed in the form of examples at three ‘progression points’ between each standard. These assist teachers to make judgements about student achievement against the standards at six monthly intervals.

School performance benchmarks are presented to schools in the following areas:

  • student achievement in the VCE
  • student achievement in Years Prep-10
  • student absence rates
  • school post compulsory destinations
  • staff and student opinion surveys
  • staff absence rates.

At the VCE level schools are provided with benchmark data in the subjects undertaken by their students.

Print this page Reduce font size Increase font size