High school students will be required to meet minimum literacy and numeracy standards in order to graduate, under reforms to the state's education system announced by the Barnett government today.
School leavers will be expected to achieve an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or a minimum Certificate II in training programs. Students in year 10 will face a minimum literacy and numeracy assessment from 2014, with those who don't achieve minimum standards given ongoing reassessment before they can graduate.
Education Minister Peter Collier said the reforms would help fill the demand for trade skills in Western Australia, and ensure that young people left school with the skills to enter the workforce.
"Changes to WA's education system announced under the previous government have allowed too many students to take the easier option, and literacy and numeracy standards are suffering as a result," he said.
"These reforms are designed to engage students in rigorous educational programs to prepare them better for life after school."
Premier Colin Barnett said his government was "leading the nation" with the introduction of minimum literacy and numeracy standards.
"The community has a right to expect that students will leave school with a minimum level of literacy and numeracy that meets the demands of everyday life," he said.
Stage 1, 2 and 3 courses will be replaced with simplified year 11 and 12 General and ATAR courses to coincide with the implementation of the Australian curriculum in Western Australia.
The reforms will be introduced in 2015 for year 11 students and in 2016 for year 12 students.