The Standards for Providers of TASC-accredited senior secondary courses set clear and measurable requirements for all Tasmanian schools, colleges and other entities registered to deliver and assess TASC-accredited senior secondary courses. The Standards are to ensure:
The standards are:
What is Take the Stand?
Take the Stand: Actioning the Standards for Providers of TASC Courses will be a year-long focus on the 10 Standards for Providers, what they mean in practice and how they benefit students, teachers, schools and the Tasmanian education system.
TASC will provide information about the standards progressively, in small segments that specifically relate to school activities (like planning, enrolment, attendance, recordkeeping, internal moderation and internal assessment reporting). We will also provide new resources, examples and other documents that schools can adapt or adopt to help them fulfil the standards.
What are the Standards for Providers?
The Standards for Providers are the ongoing requirements to ensure consistency and comparability of courses and results, fairness and equity for students, and that the qualifications issued are valid and reliable. The standards were introduced at the start of 2020 as a new format to clearly detail what providers need to do when delivering TASC-accredited courses.
A minor update made at the end of 2020 (Version 2) added Appendix 3 explaining TCE credit points for students with concurrent enrolment, repeating a course and completing a course over two years.
Why are we doing Take the Stand?
TASC is both a regulator and an advocate of the Standards for Providers. We want to make it as straightforward as possible for schools to undertake actions that fulfil the standards.
While ongoing commitment and effort is needed to achieve the standards, the outcomes are worth it – for our students and for us all as a high-quality education system. TASC will do whatever we can to make it as easy as possible to meet the standards, while not diminishing or reducing requirements so the senior secondary education standards for Tasmania
Coming next: Unpacking the planning template and ideas for getting ready for 2021.
When we make a plan, things are easier and go more smoothly. And while you might be able to juggle almost all your tasks in your head, there are some things that do need to be written down in schools delivering TASC courses.
The Standards for Providers requires course delivery plans and other evidence to be kept that shows the standards are being followed. So a great way to start the school year is with a clear plan of all the specific actions that need to happen at your school to meet the standards.
The 3-page guiding template Planning to meet Provider Standards for TASC-Accredited Senior Secondary Courses helps refresh your knowledge of the Standards, the resources available and to plan the specific actions that the Principal, Assistant Principal/s, TLO and course teachers will do and when.
The template includes suggested actions which are highly recommended to ensure all the standards are met and that strong evidence that the standards have been followed can be demonstrated during quality assurance processes (if/when evidence is requested).
Use of the guiding template is optional. The most important thing is that your school achieves the outcomes in the standards. You may use other or additional actions if they will comprehensively fulfil the standards.
Here are some ideas on how you could use the guiding template:
Right now, many students are changing courses as they settle in to the courses they will complete in their senior secondary years.
TASC understands that course enrolments are flexible early in the year, but as Term 1 ends it’s essential that student enrolment details in TRACS are up-to-date and accurate (and are kept current for the rest of the year).
Schools need to have their own policies and procedures on student movement between courses, including how the course content and work requirements of the new course will be completed.
Students who change courses need to be exposed to all the course content for that course and brought up to date with learnings they missed. Work already completed may be able to be re-assessed by mapping the content across the courses and assessing the completed work against the standards in the new course (particularly if the courses are in the same learning area but are different levels).
In Term 3 each year, enrolments are fixed. Any subsequent change of enrolment to a new TASC course requires TASC approval and evidence of the management of the course change. This recognises the significant obstacles to having a successful change into a course so late in the year.
Of course, students can withdraw from a course, but this request must be made immediately in TRACS. This helps in planning exams and assessments, and generating accurate result statements in Term 4.
TLOs and teachers should ensure that their students understand the impact course changes could have on what certificates a student may be eligible to receive at the end of their studies. The Course planner on TASC’s website can help students check if they are on track for the TCE standards and credit points needed for their future pathway.
Under the provider standards, schools need to ensure that individual students are exposed to the learning required by a course that they are enrolled in (Standard 2).
Keeping appropriate attendance records is the main way that providers can show that students have had the opportunity to undertake the required learning.
Most schools have comprehensive and detailed attendance policies, procedures and electronic systems to keep records of student attendance. This makes it quite simple for schools to be able to monitor if a student’s attendance is regular enough to be learning the course content.
But there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that all aspects of this standard are being met:
However your school maintains course attendance records and support students with absences, make sure it is recorded and that someone else can access and understand what has occurred.
Learners can only be enrolled in a course if they meet the course-specific access requirements (noting that not all courses have access requirements).
This responsibility is detailed in Standard 1: Course providers will ensure that all the knowledge, skills and experiences that comprise a course are delivered to students, and that all stated course requirements are met.
So what kinds of access requirements apply to some of the senior secondary courses?
If a course has an access requirement, then it will be listed under the heading “Access” in the Course Document. The list below outlines the main types of access requirements that are in current courses:
It is mostly a straight-forward process to determine if a student meets the access requirements to enrol in a course. However, for Essential Skills – Maths and Essential Skills – Reading and Writing, course providers need to have an assessment process to identify the level of support learners need and that students do not already have the literacy or numeracy skills taught in the course.
Your assessment process could include steps such as:
As we are reaching the midway point of the year, it’s timely to recap and revisit some of the key aspects of the Standards for Providers of TASC courses that we’ve unpacked so far:
These articles are available on the Standards for Providers webpage on the TASC website.
In the second half of the year, Take the Stand articles will focus on how the Standards for Providers apply to end-of-year actions for quality assurance, academic integrity, assessment and results including:
We hope you are finding the articles useful and welcome suggestions on topics you would like to see covered.
With folios starting to be submitted for external marking (Folio due dates), this article focuses on Standard 8: Course providers will have policies and procedures to ensure that any disputes regarding a school’s refusal to endorse the academic integrity of externally assessed folios are resolved.
Courses which include a folio or project work, generally have the folio/project as a significant proportion of the student’s final rating so it’s critical that teachers can verify that the folio/project is genuinely the student’s own work.
While folios and projects should be incrementally developed and monitored over the year, sometimes students can do a lot at the last minute and this can make it more difficult for teachers to be sure that the work is all the student’s own.
Teachers use their judgement and experience to determine if they can absolutely verify to TASC, on behalf of the school, that it is the student’s own work. Making (and keeping a record) of how you have tested the student’s knowledge of the work and where the ideas have come from would be a suitable step in verification.
School’s policies and processes need to address key aspects of folio/project verification, including
If you have any questions about how you should proceed when you are concerned about the verification of a student’s folio/project work before submission, please lodge a ‘Quality Assurance’ TRACS task and we will get back to you.
Provider Standard 6 is Course providers will have policies and procedures to ensure that any disputes regarding internal assessments are resolved prior to final reporting to TASC.
With final internal ratings reported to TASC in November (see TASC Key Dates), schools need to provide students with a copy of their final internal ratings to sign off before providing the ratings to TASC. Students also need to be advised of the school’s process to request a review of their internal ratings.
The 2021 TASC Student Survey asked students about student-focused actions under the provider standards (At my school) with:
This suggests that the majority of students aren’t fully aware and well informed of the process for final internal ratings at their school. It’s important for the transparency and fairness of results that all students see and signoff on their final internal ratings.
The copy of their internal ratings should be provided within a timeframe that allows the school review process to be undertaken before submission to TASC.
The final internal ratings provided to students should have the ratings against each course criterion. This final rating will be based on the assessment records kept over the year – For example, as shown in the assessment record at pg. 5-6 of the Internal Assessment document.
An example Final Internal Ratings Report for students and School Self-Evaluation: Quality Assurance Tool for Standard 6 are available for schools to use.
As shown in the Final Internal Ratings Report, schools should use a written notification of internal ratings that includes the student signing the final internal ratings and being notified of the right to review processes. Schools need to keep for their records a copy of the signed report (i.e. scan or photocopy the report before returning to the student).
The new student information sheet on Understanding Assessment may be a useful resource for schools to provide to students and parents to help them better understand criterion-based assessment and how the criterion achievement ratings translate to the overall award for the course.
To wrap this year’s eight Take the stand articles unpacking the Standards for Providers, we’ve put together a Focus Area by Term poster to help schools and teachers to keep track of the key areas to focus on year-round and by school term. The poster also helps TLOs and Principals to see the whole of school areas and teachers to see the areas they are to focus on.
We suggest keeping a copy were you can regularly see it (your wall or planning folder), or use the information from the poster to schedule a series of regular reminders in your electronic calendar to remind you of the key focus areas at that time.
We hope you have found the regular articles and new resources useful over 2021. We are keen to continue Take the stand articles to increase understanding of the standards and provide ideas and resources to assist. If you have any suggestions on topics or resources that would help, please let us know at email@example.com
The key things you need to know about QA meetings are now available on a single page – see QA Meeting Preparation: An Overview.
Responding to feedback from QA meeting participants in 2021, TASC put together this Overview to help you know:
• Who needs to attend a QA meeting
• How to select the student work samples
• How to get ready for the meeting
• What happens at the meeting, and after the meeting
• Why there are QA meetings.