Strict COVID-safe exam protocols were in place at 9.50am today when 69,000 HSC students started the 2021 HSC written exams with English Paper 1. Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said students had displayed an impressive resilience to push through the disruptions caused by the pandemic and be ready for their written exams.
“HSC students, with the support of their teachers and families, have displayed incredible resilience and perseverance over the past eighteen months,” Ms Mitchell said. “I thank them all for adapting to the myriad of challenges and disruptions and wish all of them the best of luck for their exams.
“This is an exciting time for students to demonstrate all of their hard work, as they finish their thirteen years of schooling. “Most importantly, I encourage students to reach out and ask for help if they’re feeling overwhelmed. There are some great resources available on the Stay Healthy HSC website, or they can speak to a family member or a friend.”
High vaccination rates and mandatory COVID-safe exam protocols are an important part of the plan for keeping HSC students safe throughout the exam period, with all staff supporting exams fully vaccinated.
Exam day protocols include:
· School and exam staff to be fully vaccinated;
· Masks to be worn by students and staff;
· Students to check in and complete a health screening before entering exam rooms;
· Students to be seated 1.5 metres apart; and
· Well-ventilated exam rooms.
Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Paul Martin said giving students the chance to sit their exams safely and show what they know has been the priority for NESA and the school sectors.
“For the written exams, we have implemented a special consideration program to support equity and fairness for students whose personal circumstances during lockdown have made preparing for their HSC enormously challenging,” Mr Martin said.
“Thank you to the school community, including NSW principals, teachers, school staff and exam supervision staff for their support in delivering a COVID safe HSC.”
The HSC written exams will end on December 3, with students set to receive their ATAR on 20 January and results on 24 January.