Repeating a year level

Progressing to the next year level of school

Repeating a school year is sometimes thought of as a way for children or young person who are not performing as well as their peers to catch up or mature over an extra 12 months.

However, research and evidence show that, in most cases, repeating a year usually does not benefit children, and is not an effective intervention for them to catch up in their education. A child or young person who repeat a year are more likely to:

  • lose confidence in their learning, develop negative attitudes towards school, have low self-esteem, and show increased aggressive and disruptive behaviours.
  • drop out of school and become less likely to go on to tertiary education.
  • stay behind their peers who move on, even after completing an extra year of schooling.

Repeating a year may be the best option for your child, but only in exceptional circumstances.

Supporting students to progress

Instead of recommending students repeat a year level, schools use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students close any learning gaps and meet their learning needs.

In Term 4, schools will make sure that they identify student levels of attainment, assessing whether they have made greater than expected progress, the expected amount of progress, or have fallen behind.

For students who need to catch up, our school program is designed to support them both in Term 4 and in the following year.

If you have concerns about your child’s progress at school, you should contact your child’s teacher or school principal to discuss how the school will support your child to be ready to progress to the next year level.

Our policy for repeating a year level

The Department of Education and Training’s policy on repeating a year says that:

  • schools should regularly promote students to the next year level with their peer group
  • repeating a year level can only occur in exceptional circumstances.

Read the repeating a year level policy

Principals make the final decision about progression or repeating a year level. Where the principal determines that repeating a year level is required for the long-term benefit of the student, the principal will ask for you to consent to your child repeating the year level.

Complaints from parents, carers and guardians

If you have requested for your child to repeat a year level and are not satisfied with the principal’s reasoning, the evidence they have provided or their decision, you can lodge a complaint following your school’s complaints policy.

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