QCS exam at Gympie State High School.
QCS exam at Gympie State High School. Craig Warhurst

Queensland OP has reached use-by date

QUEENSLAND'S Year 12 assessment and university entrance rankings are in for a shake-up.

An independent review found the 22-year-old Queensland's Overall Position had reached its use-by date.

The Redesigning the Secondary-Tertiary Interface report put forward 23 recommendations for the system which it said was in dire "need of attention".

It recommended reporting subject results on a finer scale to help universities make selection decisions.

"The challenge is to design senior assessment and tertiary selection processes appropriate to Queensland in the 21st century, rather than attempt to reconstruct arrangements from the past or to adopt solutions from elsewhere," the report, from Professor Geoff Masters and Dr Gabrielle Matters, said.

Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson said a revamp was needed.

"The current OP system has been in place since 1992 and it is timely that it be reviewed given the changes in pathways for students and the decline in the number of students awarded an OP over recent years," Mr Robertson said.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said he was worried about a recommendation that would lead to four specified assessments on each senior subject.

The review recommended a new system which would see final marks for each senior subject based on four types of assessment.

"One key concern is the introduction of external assessment for up to 50% of a student's marks," Mr Bates told ABC Radio yesterday.

"That certainly is something we recommended against and we need to look at how that is going to be implemented to decide our position into the future."

Premier Campbell Newman said the State Government would not rush into overhauling the system.

"... we have a report and we will take our time considering this," Mr Newman said.

"These issues are ones that we need to deliberate on and consider properly."

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said changes would not happen before 2016.

"So anyone who's in the system currently can be reassured that the current system is strong and will continue for the next couple of years," Mr Langbroek said.

He said it would help develop a modern and fairer alternative to the current system.

"Twenty years ago, Year 12 mainly comprised students who intended to go to university but today, most Year 12 students successfully combine an academic range of courses and vocational qualifications, providing options for further education, training and work," Mr Langbroek said.

"As a result we have seen a decrease in the percentage of Year 12 students awarded an OP. In 1992, about 80% of Year 12 students received an OP. By 2013, this had dropped to 54%.

"In contrast, 57% of Year 12 students completed a vocational education and training qualification in 2009, increasing to 67% in 2013." - APN NEWSDESK



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