Big changes coming to QLD’s senior schooling system

The current batch of Year 9 students in Queensland will be the last to receive an ‘Overall Position’ (OP) tertiary entrance rank in what will be “the most significant changes to senior schooling in more than 40 years”.

The State Government’s changes – which will come into play in 2019 – will mean assessments and tertiary entrance grading for students begin in Year 11.

Education Minister Kate Jones said the new system will bring Queensland into line with the rest of Australia.


She said the new Queensland Australian Tertiary Entrance Ranking “will recognise a broader range of learning than the OP system.

“It will be calculated from a student’s best five subject results which may include one Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification or Subject Area Syllabus (SAS) subject,” said Ms Jones.

The new curriculum was put together after consultation with all major education stakeholders, principals associations and parents.

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority’s CEO Chris Rider said the new system would begin in 2019 – when current Year 8 students begin Year 11 – to allow more time to finalise everything.

“Although there has been significant progress, some transition activities will require more time to complete than originally planned,” Mr Rider said.

“In particular, this means the redevelopment of the full suite of senior subject syllabuses and delivery of nearly 700 professional development workshops to about 17,000 teachers.”

Queensland Independent Schools’ Parents Network Executive Officer Sue Kloeden said: “Parents, particularly those with children currently in Year 8 – who will be the first to experience the new system – will have more time to talk with their schools about the changes and what they mean for the future subject selections and career choices of their sons and daughters.”

Key decisions to date

  • Year 12 students will receive an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), replacing the OP and bringing Queensland into line with other states and territories
  • Senior subject results will be based on a student’s achievement in four pieces of assessment – three school-based and one external assessment
  • For most senior subjects external assessment will contribute 25 percent towards a student’s final result
  • Mathematics and science subjects will contribute 50 percent
  • 80 senior syllabuses will be reviewed in preparation for external assessment
  • An English subject will be compulsory for students to receive their Queensland Certificate of Education
  • A QCE will be based on five board subjects or four board subjects and one Vocational Education and Training subject