ATAR rank simplistic: principal

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Four of the seven major South West high schools finished the 2018 school year with a lower median ATAR ranking than in 2017, two of which by more than 13 per cent.

Newton Moore Senior High School and Dalyellup College finished 2018 with median ATAR results of 55.55 and 51.9 respectively, 14.15 and 13.15 marks down on 2017.

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar finished the year down on 2017, with a median result of 76.1, 8.8 lower than the previous year.

BCGS head of school Michael Giles described the ranking of schools by median results as simplistic and said the school was proud of every member of the cohort.

“Our students have high aspirations as nearly 90 per cent of our Year 12 students in 2018 attempted a challenging ATAR course,” he said.

“This statistic when combined with the 100 per cent graduation is a remarkable achievement.”

Despite the lower median result in 2018, BCGS produced one of the State’s highest achieving students, with 17-year-old Jamie McGregor earning himself a final ATAR of 99.85.

Bunbury Senior High School was one of the three schools who improved on 2017, finishing the past school year with a median result of 83.95, good enough to earn it 38th place in the official school rankings.

Principal Craige Pettit said he was proud of his students’ achievements and the school’s ranking, but acknowledged rankings change from year to year.

“We’ve had a really good year, but sometimes we come behind Grammar or Manea or Australind and so on, with the common denominator being the kids,” he said.

“If you have a lot of kids doing ATAR, sometimes you might have some kids that are struggling and they will bring the median down.”

Mr Giles agreed with this notion, believing as the composition of the cohort changes, the median ATAR changes accordingly.

“We are proud of every one of our students who graduated with their Western Australian Certificate of Education and the entire cohort of Year 12 students in 2018 did so,” he said.

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