The academically selective public school Perth Modern has topped the list of institutions with the highest average exam results for the second year in a row.
Students at the inner-city school scored a median ATAR of a 95.9 for last year’s exams, the highest in the state, and a 0.35 per cent jump on last year.
Perth Modern and Manjimup Senior High School were the only two public schools which made it into the top 10.
St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls and Christ Church Grammar took out second and third place respectively.
There were 11 public schools and 39 private in the top 50.
Last year public schools made up 12 of the top 50.
School and Curriculums Standards Authority executive director Allan Blagaich said he did not think the Government’s funding cut to the Gifted and Talented program would affect the rankings of public schools going forward.
Selective schools cater for the specific needs of high-achieving students.
The Government announced last year it was lopping almost $2 million from the program, with Perth Modern and John Curtin College of the Arts to be hardest hit, part of sweeping cuts designed to save more than $60 million from the education budget over the next four years.
Perth Modern — the state’s only academically selective school — stands to lose $225,000, while it will lose a total of $1 million by 2019 from cuts to other areas.
“I don’t believe that the gifted and talented programs, in terms of funding, that will affect the performance of kids in years 11 and 12,” Mr Blagaich said.
“The adjustment, as far as I understand, will really impact the administration levels.”
Mr Blagaich warned parents to examine other factors outside of the annual rankings, when trying to choose the right school for their child.
“We would really strongly urge parents not to just look at the tables as they are presented, you actually have to look at all the tables, and also make a good decision around all of the other measures that you would put in for determining where your child would go.”
He said pastoral care, social and emotional support, extra-curricular sporting and other activities were all important things to consider.
The mean ATAR result across all schools was 77.5.
Big jump in vocational student numbers
The number of students achieving vocational certificates spiked this year, with an extra 1,227 students achieving a Certificate II in 2017 compared to last year.
An extra 567 students achieved a Cert III or IV this year, bringing the total to 4,649.
Meanwhile the overall number of students undertaking studies for a Western Australian Academic Certificate grew 2 per cent this year to 25,954.
Less students sat for the ATAR for university entrance this year.
In 2016, 58 per cent of Year 12 students took the exams, while this year it was 54.7 per cent.
Above 95 per cent of all eligible Year 12 students achieved numeracy standards, while more than 97 per cent demonstrated basic reading and writing standards.