South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, has launched her latest report: High Stakes High School – The experiences of South Australian Year 12 students. The report is the result of a series of face-to-face consultations with groups of students attending Year 12 at four Adelaide Schools with an additional 72 Year 12 students engaged with the issue via one-off conversations with the Commissioner. In addition to these conversations, a broader group of 223 young people aged 16 – 19 years completed a survey asking them questions that covered their expectations, challenges, and highlights, as well as how prepared and supported they felt during their final year of school – sharing their experiences, feelings, and reflections in real-time as they navigated the highs and lows of their final school year. The survey also asked how confident they felt about life beyond Year 12, and what they thought would improve the Year 12 experience. Key messages contained in the report include the need to deepen our understanding of the significant challenges and barriers being faced by Year 12 students and recommendations for development of a Year 12 Charter for students and teachers thereby changing the ways in which we engage with children and young people throughout their entire schooling years – supporting them to not only prepare for Year 12, but to develop a lifelong love of learning that is not just about where a good ATAR score can get them in life. 

“Imagine a world in which final year students are made to feel optimistic about their future and the choices available to them. A future they enter to embark on the next phase of their life’s journey with confidence and enthusiasm for what lays ahead – not dread and fear of not measuring up.”  Commissioner Helen Connolly.

Download the pdf of the report here.