New assessment approach for senior students

Published Tuesday, 25 August, 2015 at 03:32 PM

Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

The Palaszczuk Government will introduce new assessment and tertiary entrance systems for senior students from 2018. 

Education Minister Kate Jones said the new system would be phased in for students entering Year 11 in 2018 and would include some external assessment.

Ms Jones said the government would also move towards giving Year 12 students an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), replacing the OP and bringing Queensland into line with other states and territories.

“The Australian Council for Educational Research carried out a review of Queensland’s OP system and provided a report to the previous government recommending a number of key changes,” Ms Jones said.

“These changes include the adoption of some external assessment and moving away from the current OP system, including the Queensland Core Skills Test.

“We have considered this report and carried out extensive consultation with education stakeholders and the wider community.

“There has been widespread support for the introduction of some form of external assessment as well as broad recognition that we need to better support the quality and comparability of the assessment set by schools.

“There is also strong support for moving to an ATAR, particularly from universities.”

Ms Jones said it was important to acknowledge the strengths of the OP that had served Queensland students well for more than 20 years.

“The QCAA is ensuring the existing system remains robust by strengthening the current school based assessment process.

“School-based assessment is something we have a lot of faith in and it will continue,” Ms Jones said.

“External assessment will be introduced as part of the assessment process, not the whole picture, similar to other states.

“We are at a point where change is necessary to ensure greater rigour and simplicity in both the senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems in Queensland.”

“We’re now looking at how these changes will be implemented, and in what form.

The Palaszczuk Government will establish a ministerial taskforce to oversee the changes to the senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems.

Minister Jones said she would chair the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce to lead what could be the biggest change to senior education assessment in more than 20 years.

“The Labor Party is the party of education and we are proud to deliver on this major reform to senior education.

“We introduced the full-time prep year, we led the transition of Year 7 to high school and now we will oversee the introduction of new assessment and tertiary entrance systems for senior students.”

Ms Jones said the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce would include key stakeholder groups representing parents, teachers, principals, the tertiary sector, the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority and QTAC.

“As chair of this taskforce I will lead this important change and ensure the views of all Queenslanders are taken into account,” Ms Jones said.

Media contact: Minister Jones’ Office 3719 7530