The organisation responsible for the roll out of Queensland’s new QCE system will make improvements to their processes after listening to stakeholders about what worked – and what didn’t – in 2020.

In a 41-page report released this month, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) acknowledged the “first years of the new system have not passed without challenges”.

“The QCAA would like to express its appreciation to the education community for working with us to adapt to the new processes and providing feedback on how we can do better,” the report said.

“The senior assessment reforms require deep cultural change within the education community and more needs to be done before we can confidently claim success.”

An independent evaluation of the QCE rollout will take place in 2022, but the QCAA said in the meantime schools, students, parents/carers and education stakeholders can look forward to “significant improvements” as a result of their initial review. 

“The QCAA is grateful to the thousands of teachers, current and past students, parents and other education stakeholders who provided feedback on their experiences.”

Re-capping the QCE

The Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) is Queensland’s new senior school qualification and 2020’s Year 12 students were the first to graduate under the new system.

External exams for Year 12 students are one of the major changes to senior schooling under the new system.  Another major change has been replacing the Overall Position (or OP) with the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), along with new syllabuses and subjects.

Improving the QCE system

The “significant improvements” the QCAA will make include:

  • boosting communication to schools, students and stakeholders about the new QCE system;
  • additional professional development and resources for schools around the assessment preparation/approval process;
  • “significant enhancements” to improve the usability of the ICT applications that support the new system;
  • a boosted online accreditation program and remuneration for the casual staff QCAA recruits and trains for the external assessment process.

External assessments in focus

The report said the external assessment component of the QCE system was “large and complex and generally executed well in its first year”.

It said feedback suggested:

  • schools were well-prepared and organised for external assessment;
  • schools had prepared students well;
  • communications and supporting resources given to schools were effective “but could be streamlined and released in a more timely manner”.

The QCE also committed to expanding the myQCE website content and social media channels to better inform students about the new QCE system, how they are assessed, how results are calculated and when and how results will be released.

More information

Read the QCAA’s Post-cycle process review report in full.

Find out more about senior schooling in Queensland on the QCAA website.

Do you have a child preparing for External assessments in Term 4? Our story Year 12 external assessments: resources and information to help your child prepare contains the 2021 assessment timetable, allowed equipment list, as well as the experts’ tips for study success.