Parents who brag about ATARs are the enemy of the state education system

It’s that time of year again when everyone starts talking about ATARs. But parents, we need to stop talking about ATARs. ATARs, Australian Tertiary Admissions Rankings, should be like babies who sleep through the night (if you’ve got one, no one wants to know about it) and fight club.

You don’t talk about ATARs. Because come December 14th , while some of us are in the midst of earnestly telling our kids that their ATAR doesn’t define them, our phone is pinging with notifications from parents bragging about their kids’ high ATAR. And while it’s understandable that parents are proud it’s a confused narrative we are creating.

Parents need to dial it down a bit on the ATAR bragging.
Parents need to dial it down a bit on the ATAR bragging.Credit:Shutterstock

When parents quote an ATAR as a definition of how smart their kid is – when they pin it to their backs and make them do a lap of victory on social media – it sends the message that the ranking is its own reward. It also reduces 13 years of education (not to mention the student) to one final “score”.