A record 19,330 Catholic school students began their NSW Higher School Certificate on Monday.
Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) – the state’s new representative body for Catholic education – said one in four students involved in the HSC is from a Catholic school, including some who will sit at least one HSC exam while still in Year 11.
“(It’s) is the culmination of 13 years of schooling for most of these students,” CSNSW Chief Executive Officer Dallas McInerney said.
“It is a significant time, not only for them but also for their families and their teachers – all of whom have played a substantial role in their journey to this point.
“The HSC provides multiple pathways for students – to work, or to further study at a TAFE college or university. I wish all HSC students in all schools the very best over the next few weeks.”
Mr McInerney said that female HSC students in Catholic schools across NSW edged out male students 50.7% to 49.3% (9804 v 9526) in 2017.
“Outside metropolitan Sydney, the gap is wider – 55.8% to 44.2% in favour of female students.”
The number of Aboriginal students in Catholic schools sitting the HSC has grown to a record 435 students in 2017 – or 2.3% of all students – up from 357 last year.
“It’s very pleasing that more Aboriginal students are sitting the HSC in our schools,” Mr McInerney said. “Almost 80% of Aboriginal Year 10 students in NSW Catholic schools are now going on to Year 12.”
Mr McInerney said the most popular HSC subjects among Catholic school students in 2017 were English, Mathematics, Biology, Studies of Religion, Business Studies and PDHPE.
Some 30% of Catholic school students are doing at least one VET (Vocational Education Training) subject, with Hospitality being the most popular, he said.