Danielle Lowe

Queensland preparing to ditch OP system

Scrapping of Queensland's OP system is a decade overdue.

That's according to CQUniversity's Associate Professor Ken Purnell, who helped bring in the OP (Overall Position) system for Queensland in 1992, as a member of the schools' governing authority.

"The OP system had a 10-year shelf life and should have been replaced back in 2002," Assoc Prof Purnell says.

"The present system is not 'broke but needs significant strengthening due to gaming by schools and other changes such as less than half Year 12 students receiving an OP today, where it was almost 100% in 1992." 

Assoc Prof Purnell, based at CQUniversity Rockhampton North campus, said Queensland will now line-up with other States to have an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

"But just like the other jurisdictions who calculate the ATAR differently, this ATAR will be calculated in a unique way peculiar to Queensland.

"This will be the biggest overhaul of the State's education system since 1972 when the externally-moderated school-based system began in Queensland for Years 11 & 12.

"There will external assessments (not exams) set and marked by the QCAA (the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority) with half the marks from three internal assessments that must be endorsed before use by the QCAA and teacher marking calibrated by QCAA. There will be at least 50% in the school assessment with rigorous conditions and up to 50% external."

Assoc Prof Purnell says there will be a strengthening of the system of assessments and a strengthening of moderation (comparability of results within and between schools State-wide).

"QCAA is working right now with QTAC creating the Queensland version which will likely be superior to the other jurisdictions."