The Education Minister has flagged changes to WA's secondary school system following concerns over students' English scores.

Figures from the Tertiary Institutions Service Centre show only 17 per cent of Year Twelve students studying Stage Two English in 2012 achieved a scaled score of more than 50.

That is compared to about 80 per cent of students who completed the more difficult Stage Three subject.

The Minister Peter Collier says the results point to problems with the tiered system.

"There were some decisions that were made that were largely political, particularly with regard to the Stage Two level of course selection," he said.

"I'm not convinced that the Stage Two level of course selection is probably providing the best avenue for students, particularly when you've got a situation where you've got a significant proportion of our students simply do not go to university."

But the State Opposition says it is unfair to blame the previous government for the situation.

Education spokesman Paul Papalia says there has been plenty of time to fix it.

"It's extraordinary that after four and a half years the Barnett government is still unwilling to take responsibility for what they are doing and have done to education," he said.

"If this method is not working it is the responsibility of the Barnett government, they've been in office for four-and-a-half years."

Mr Collier says he is working on a number of reforms.

"Certainly as a former educator, as a former teacher, can I say I'm not satisfied that the current structure in terms of the three tiered system, the stage one, two and three, is providing the best outcomes for West Australian students."

A group representing parents says the current system is confusing and has backed plans to change it.

The President of the WA Council of State School Organisations Kylie Catto believes parents and students would appreciate a less complex system.

"Obviously universities have to set an entry requirement," she said.

"There has to be a basic minimum English requirement but the complexities associated with that, between stage 2 and stage 3, I believe only adds to the stress for those students."


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