The WA Education Department say they were unaware of a Perth school’s scheme to use taxpayer dollars to motivate students to work harder.

Year 12s at Carine Senior High School were told they would pocket $500 if they scored higher in their final exams than their Year 11 predicted ATAR, The West Australian reported.

The criteria for the $500 cash incentive:

  • Predicted ATAR of 80 or above in Year 11 – maintain or improve on that result in Year 12.
  • Predicted ATAR below 80 in Year 11 – lift final ATAR above 80 or improve by more than five points.
  • Top 10 Year 12s who did not take enough courses to qualify for an ATAR score.

In a reportedly leaked email, Principal Damian Shuttleworth said it was designed to motivate disengaged students.

“The plan outlines a strategy to provide recognition of effort, which this award program aims to do by rewarding those students who have maintained or increased their effort and motivation in challenging circumstances,” he wrote.

Mr Shuttleworth added that some university-bound students had been given guaranteed places by two unis based on their Year 11 results because their final year had been significantly disrupted by COVID-19.

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While the WA Education Department was unaware of the plan, WA’s Deputy Director General for Schools Stephen Baxter said, “a cash incentive… was not something the department would endorse.”

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