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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 5 > Changes to senior assessment and support for junior curriculum

Changes to senior assessment and support for junior curriculum

senior_assessment_forums.jpgThe Queensland Government is continuing to roll out changes to senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems, with new processes and procedures expected to be in place for students entering Year 11 in 2018. 

At the same time, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) is also continuing to support teachers through the introduction of the P-10 National Curriculum.  


The changes to the senior assessment and tertiary entrance procedures will include a model that combines school-based assessment and external assessment, with the aim of strengthening the quality and comparability of student results. The transition from the Overall Position (OP) tertiary entrance rank to an Australian Tertiary Administration Rank (ATAR) is also scheduled for 2018. 

As part of the plan to implement changes at the start of the 2018 school year, QCAA has now established Learning Area Advisory Groups (LARGs) for nine subject areas and Expert Writing Teams for all authority subjects. 

Our union is also represented on the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce, which has been providing overarching advice to Education Minister Kate Jones and the Measurement Committee. The committee is tasked with considering how senior assessment results should be reported and combined for tertiary entrance purposes. 

IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles said our union would have representatives on each of the LARGs, which will enable members to keep track of broader patterns and processes as well communicate with members around these.  

“Both the Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) and IEUA-QNT have effectively collaborated to ensure each union was represented on QCAA curriculum committees,” he said.

A copy of our position paper in relation to the changes to senior assessment and tertiary entrance processes is available on our website. For a full suite of updates and changes to senior assessment systems click here.  


The QCAA is undertaking a series of initiatives to support teachers working with junior (P-10) students. 

This includes continuation of work on important syllabus documents to support implementation of the National Curriculum, with the aim of resolving confusion around core and discretionary content and overcrowding. 

Mr Giles said that in order to understand these changes, and the context in which they are being implemented, teachers are encouraged to attend QCAA-hosted forums. 

“The forums are also designed to take into account curriculum leaders operating in the state’s more remote and rural areas,” he said. 

“As a priority, the QCAA forums focused on gathering feedback from participants on how best to implement the Australian Curriculum across the state, and ideas on how to unclutter the overcrowded curriculum for a more balanced assessment program.”

A second key QCAA initiative for 2016 is a number of workshops focusing on enhancing support for students with literacy and numeracy difficulties. 

For schools where students are having difficulties in the key learning areas of mathematics and literacy, QCAA practical workshops offer advice and strategies to support teachers. The topics for Semester One are ‘Spatial thinking in the primary years’, ‘Proportional reasoning in junior secondary’ and ‘Oral language in the early years’. 

The QCAA advises that these sessions will include hands-on activities, strategies and resources to address student misconceptions and build understanding and skills. 

Pre-service teachers, teachers, HODs, HOCs, deputy principals, master teachers and coaches are all encouraged to attend and will be able to record the session as continuing professional development consistent with the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) requirements. 

To find out more information on the forums, visit the QCAA website


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.