Senior Pathways &
VET programs for Secondary Students

Updated June 2017

Diane Sukkar
Liverpool Girls' High School

(Trained in 2012)

"School is the best place for young people and as educators we are accountable to the community." - Diane Sukkar

"Make school work for you- and let it be a place where your choices are met." - Mira Dokmanovic – Careers Adviser LGHS

"He who opens a school door, closes a prison." - Victor Hugo

My School:

Liverpool Girls' High School (LGHS) is a learning community committed to achieving goals, working together, continually searching for improvement as well as encouraging and implementing new ideas.

The school is located in the south western suburbs of Sydney and is part the Liverpool School Education Group of the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The school was established in 1954 replacing the then Liverpool Home Science School which opened in 1929. The school is a multicultural comprehensive girls' high school with over 87% of the students coming from a language background other than English (LBOTE).

The school has students from about 62 different countries with over 50 languages being spoken by the students and their families. Aboriginal students account for 2.2% of the school population.

My primary role(s) in the school:

I currently work three days as the Transition Adviser and the VET Co-coordinator.

My role as Transition Adviser:

In my role as a transition adviser I work in the careers and transition team. I co-share a staff room with the school careers adviser. I effectively collaborate with people within and outside the school to develop programs and initiatives for students' that prepare them to effectively cope with school, develop work related skills, better understand strategies to address life challenges and promote inner self resilience. Each of the following programs target students with different needs:

Additional support programs are provided for S-VET students to support them with work placement.

My major achievements in this role:

I played an active role in implementing significant changes in the school's selection process for stage 6 HSC subjects. The new process enabled students to make informed decision about their subject selection that mapped to their career and transition pathways, post year 12.

In the past teachers "sold" their KLA subjects and students sat through days of taster markets. The new process focused on a career/transition approach, providing students with guidance. Specific classes were designed to inform students on specific career information and the range of options available to them. Students are now encouraged to actively research possible post school options and select subjects that suit their ability and interests. This is achieved through careers classes; Individual Education Plans (IEP); excursions to the University of Western Sydney; careers fairs; subject market afternoons; eBOS discussions by the principal; and a subject review committee that includes various teachers including a member of the learning support team.

The challenges I have experienced:

The 'new model' for subject selection had the support of the principal, careers advisers and deputy. This certainly helped the implementation.

During my first year in the position some staff members were hesitant about the changes I was proposing. Over time, the staff members have now accepted this as the new process.

What I have learnt in this role:

I have learnt that a team approach is the best strategy to implement change in school. Talking and having all parties involved in the process ensures greater success of any program in the school.

The impact of the TA initiative on the school and its community:

The initiatives have impacted positively on the school and community in a range of areas.

I share a staff room with the careers adviser. We discuss students 'at risk' and other issues on a daily basis. We attend welfare meetings and learning support meetings so that we are able to target specific students as well as cultural groups with tailored programs and individual support programs for students.

The welfare team/ learning support team disseminate valuable information about students and this information is used to tailor programs for specific year groups. Other teachers as well as members of the executive are also involved in the process. We collaboratively work together to support students at school and keep them engaged. This has resulted in greater retention of students and higher engagement. No longer do we have a culture of this student wants to leave - "find them a job", but rather "what can we do to better engage these students?" or "let's look at post school options and support their transition by helping them develop skill sets".

Specific programs are now part of a regular scope and sequence for students. While most programs are planned, some are 'Just In time' programs that are designed to deal with an emerging issue with a particular student or a whole year group. All programs are evaluated by the transition adviser and careers adviser. Students are also given an opportunity to give feedback about specific student services. Overall the collaborative process has improved all student services in the school.