THE MOTHER of a Drouin Secondary College student told to improve their progress score or miss out on their Debutant Ball has labelled the school’s policies as “discriminatory.”
The school’s Progress Score and Co-curricular Activities policy, which came into effect last year, says students with a progress score lower than 50 “cannot participate in co-curricular activities until their progress score improves.”
The progress scores measure a number of areas of student performance.
The mother, who will not be named, told The Warragul Citizen a number of year 10 students will need to improve their score to be able to attend their Deb.
“I spoke to one of the teachers and he confirmed that there are a number of year 10’s that are not allowed to attend the Deb because of low progress scores,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s a question of fairness, rather it is a discriminatory action involving an otherwise happy social milestone occasion for the ‘coming of age’.
“Every young person should be entitled to be presented to the community, not only those with high progress scores.
“At least they should have a choice to want or not want to participate in the Deb.”
Drouin Secondary College spokesperson Rob Monk told The Warragul Citizen he hopes all year 10 students will be able to attend the Deb, but co-curricular activities come after academic achievement.
“At Drouin Secondary College our number one priority is our timetabled curriculum program,” Mr Monk said.
“If a student is not performing well enough in their core timetabled curriculum program we want them to put more time and effort into that, rather than be distracted by co-curricular activities which, for us as a school, have a lower priority.
“If a student is demonstrating they are unable or unwilling to keep up with their core curriculum program why would we let them take on an activity which will take up more of their time and distract them from the main game?
“If the student is unable cope or is choosing not to devote time or effort to the regular curriculum program we need to make sure they don’t take on other activities which will take more of their time or effort.”
Mr Monk said the progress scores were not only about marks.
“Progress score (sic) is about application and engagement in the core curriculum program of the college,” Mr Monk said.
“Most of the progress score is based on effort, behaviour and organisation; all students, regardless of their academic ability can do well in these aspects of school.
“Academic progress does form part of the Progress Score but it is based on assessment of whether students are capable of performing better.”
The mother said the policy could have longer-term implications.
“Perhaps there are many young persons quietly carrying grudges and only the future will show how it affects their lives and our community,” she said.
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