Teachers to mark performance and oral exams

To limit the movement of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) performance and language oral markers between schools within or outside Greater Sydney the NESA COVID-19 Response Committee has provided COVID Special Consideration to the HSC performance and language oral exams across the state.

Committee Chair, Professor Peter Shergold, said that moving to teacher marking of the exams was a safe and sensible alternative as a similar process was used in 2020, and was already an option for schools in Greater Sydney and other regions under Level 4 restrictions.

“This means students can focus on their rehearsals, studying and taking care of their wellbeing, knowing that their safety and that of their families has been prioritised,” Shergold said.

Under the program, performance exams in dance, drama and music, and the language oral exams, can be organised by individual schools at a time that suits their local needs, in line with health advice.

NESA will provide schools with guidelines and mark packs to support teachers.

Schools will have until 22 October to submit the marks to NESA.

The marks submitted by teachers will be moderated by NESA to ensure equity across the state.

Strict COVID-safe rules are in place for students rehearsing and completing their performance exams.

Chief Executive Officer of NESA, Paul Martin, said the decision limited the safety risk to students without disruption to their exams.

“Teachers know their students best and asking them to mark the performance and language oral exams provides a safe and clear pathway for students sitting these exams,” he said.

“Teacher marking of some major projects was introduced last year.

“It will be strengthened this year with moderation by NESA and means all students in the state will be sitting the performance and oral exams under the same conditions.”

Schools do not need to apply for Special Consideration for the performance and oral language exams.

The program continues to be available, by application, for students (at schools under Level 4 restrictions) whose completion of their major project has been significantly disrupted by COVID-19.

Written exams will go ahead from October 19 and NESA is working closely with NSW Health to ensure strict COVID-safe protocols will be in operation.

For up-to-date advice about the 2021 HSC, visit NESA’s COVID-19 advice.

Teachers, students and parents can also contact the NESA COVID-19 support team on 1300 138 323 or covid19support@nesa.nsw.edu.au.

Media release, Aug 10
NSW Education Standards Authority