The Changing Landscape of Education

Recently, you would have seen the explosion of national and state media interest in the future of ATAR,…

Recently, you would have seen the explosion of national and state media interest in the future of ATAR, the demise of league tables, and the significant changes in university entrance requirements; particularly the transition from secondary to tertiary learning, or what educators refer to as the transition from Year 12 to Year 13. Not surprisingly, these conversations are also taking place internationally, particularly in the UK and USA.

As an educator, I find media headings like ‘Early Offers create Gen Easy’ nothing but distasteful. It is insulting to all the graduating students across WA who focused on achieving their personal best. Their hard work, dedication and application is belittled in such sweeping statements and, in our context, could not be further from the truth. This cohort performed exceptionally well academically, as have their predecessors. We value academic success and our teaching staff work diligently to support the girls to achieve the results our girls desire to pursue their chosen career pathways.

In October 2022 TISC, the body responsible for releasing data on ATAR, informed us that they would not provide schools with an officially-calculated ATAR median score. We, along with other WA independent schools, saw this as an opportunity to break the cycle of comparisons. While we have always fared extremely well when it comes to league tables, we strongly believe that our school should be evaluated on more than just one number at the end of the year. To view our 2022 Year 12 achievements click here.

At St Hilda’s we monitor our students’ progress, growth, and trends closely. Below is a table that shows our graduating students’ performance prior to Early Offers (2019 cohort) and after the introduction of Early Offers; conditional and unconditional (2022 cohort).

The results are very telling.

    Year          Top 1% of the state (99+)     Top 5% of the state (95+)    Top 10% of the state (90+)


7% 32%


2019 4% 26.4%



So, what does this data tell us about St Hilda’s, apart from the fact that our girls have achieved exceptional results and improved in performance since Early Offers were introduced?

The answer is a lot.

It gives insight into the strong learning culture deeply embedded in the heart of a St Hilda’s education. It reminds us of the importance and power of intrinsic motivation and its role in achieving personal best. It highlights the St Hilda’s culture – it is cool to do your best.

When we celebrated our Year 12s’ graduation last year, we focussed our messaging on our girls being more than an ATAR. This does not mean that academic success is not encouraged or celebrated. Academic success is an important part of each girl’s graduating portfolio. Our 2022 graduate results are a testament to this.

Fiona Johnston