Still Winning? Social Inequity in the NSW Senior Secondary Curriculum Hierarchy

Philip Roberts, Jenny Dean, Garrett Lommatsch

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This research examines potential inequalities in access to the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) Curriculum and HSC achievement. The research has undertaken a comprehensive study of curriculum access and achievement in the NSW HSC, with reference to the socio-cultural characteristics of students and schools. It has done so in order to understand the influences upon access to, and achievement in, the NSW HSC at an individual and institutional (school) level.
The research raises questions about why some subjects are studied more than others and related equity implications or implications for practice in these subjects. Through these results, the curriculum can be seen as a vehicle of educational achievement, and not as comprising neutral subjects of equal value. Instead, the curriculum operates as a system to reinforce social status. This system increasingly funnels low socio-economic status, and non-metropolitan, students into subjects with lower average achievement levels and into vocational education subjects. To improve equity, we need to ensure all students have access to higher-status powerful subjects or ensure all subjects are valued equally.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for Sustainable Communities
Number of pages40
Place of PublicationCanberra
ISBN (Electronic)9781740884921
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameCentre for Sustainable Communities Monograph Series
PublisherCentre for Sustainable Communities


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