Special consideration for class of 2021

Victoria's Year 12 students have had to study remotely for the second year in a row.
Victoria's Year 12 students have had to study remotely for the second year in a row.

The class of 2021 will get special consideration for their final VCE scores due to another year of virus lockdowns.

Year 12 students statewide have had to study remotely for the second year in a row and important assessments have been put off.

Under normal circumstances, students have to apply for special consideration individually, but assessment authorities will use the process to calculate results for every student completing one or more VCE or VET unit 3-4 subjects in 2021.

This means their final exam scores will be considered alongside other data, such as the General Achievement Test (GAT), and performance across other assessments.

With the state's current restrictions in place until July 27, the GAT will be rescheduled to August 12 pending advice from health authorities.

The impact of the virus on individual students will also be considered, including any direct impacts on a student's health, and ongoing issues with remote learning.

"The Delta variant of coronavirus is causing uncertainty right around Australia - but we want to make sure every student knows that no matter how much they're impacted by the pandemic, we're supporting them to succeed in VCE and VCAL," Education Minister James Merlino said.

State opposition education spokesman David Hodgett welcomed special consideration and the rescheduling of the GAT, but called on the state government to reduce the GAT exam content.

"Year 12s have missed three to four weeks of school so we want to content reduced because they haven't had the time to learn all of the curriculum," he said on Friday.

The changes come as a snapshot of young Victorians shows about half of those surveyed felt "bad or terrible" during the last lockdown, with students calling for recognition of the impact on their grades.

The survey by the state's Commission for Children and Young People found 10- to 12-year-olds and those aged about 17 were most likely to be feeling down, as well as those with a disability or health problems or who identify as gender diverse.

It's an increase of about 10 per cent on the last snapshot, taken six months ago.

One 18-year-old indigenous woman reported feeling constantly stressed and anxious.

"I hate being stuck at home and my depression sky rockets ... I just feel alone and numb," she told the June survey.

A 19-year-old said: "I feel like I'm on fire while people with hoses are standing and just watching, that's the best way to describe how I feel since COVID started."

About 20 per cent of the 312 children and young people who responded to the online survey reported feeling good or great.

Commissioner Liana Buchanan said the results pointed to the cumulative impact of the pandemic.

"We need to do much more to consider the impact on children when making critical decisions so those impacts can be mitigated," she said in the snapshot released on Friday.

The Victorian opposition has also called for all school teachers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination and suggested Premier Daniel Andrews make the case at Friday's meeting of national cabinet.

Asked about prioritising teachers at his Friday news conference, Mr Andrews said that while there were "a lot of worthy claims", it was difficult to make decisions without being able to accurately anticipate vaccine supply.

Australian Associated Press