The Queensland Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the Queensland Government’s confirmation that a new system of senior assessment will be introduced in schools from 2018.
QCEC Executive Director Dr Lee-Anne Perry says the Catholic sector supports the model of assessment proposed, balancing school-based and external modes.
“While the existing system has served us well, and will continue to do so during the transition phase, the Catholic sector agrees that the time is right to move towards replacing the OP score and QCS test mechanisms.
“A model incorporating elements of both school-based and external assessment will provide a sound basis for the future.
“We believe that both forms of assessment should provide appropriate input into a final subject result, and that one form of assessment should not be seen as more valid than another,” Dr Perry said.
Dr Perry said that the timeline for the reforms – not to be introduced before 2018 for students entering Year 11 – was sensible.
“Good education policy always requires adequate lead time and sound resourcing.
“This will enable students to plan their senior pathways and allow adequate time for teachers and schools to prepare for implementation of the new model,” she said.
Dr Perry said that a well-resourced implementation process would also be critical to the success of the change.
“School communities, along with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), should be adequately resourced by the Queensland Government to take the lead in implementing the new model, with a strong focus on supporting the teaching profession,” she said.
Dr Perry said it is also vital that schooling authorities participate in decision-making processes with universities and the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, to consider how tertiary admissions rankings would be derived from senior subject results.
“The development of a tertiary admissions ranking system can have a significant backwash effect on schools, particularly by influencing the subject choices students make to gain access to tertiary courses.
“We particularly welcome the establishment of a Ministerial Taskforce with representation from schooling sectors to develop an understanding of the flow-on effects between tertiary selection processes and senior schooling,” she said.
Dr Perry said the Catholic sector has worked closely with the review process to date and looks forward to further opportunities to engage as details of the new system are developed.