Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013

MEDIA RELEASE

Queensland senior school assessment and tertiary entrance to be reviewed

30 July 2013: Future arrangements for senior assessment, school reporting and tertiary entrance procedures will need to take into account the changing nature of schools, university pathways and learning itself, according to Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Chief Executive, Professor Geoff Masters.

Professor Masters made the comment following the announcement by Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, that ACER has been appointed to review Queensland’s senior assessment, school reporting and tertiary entrance procedures. The ACER review will consider the effectiveness of current procedures and identify ways to improve, revitalise or reform them.

Professor Masters said the review, to be led by Dr Gabrielle Matters through ACER’s Brisbane office, would focus on recommendations that provided fair and accurate information about students’ achievements.

“There are many stakeholders with an interest in senior secondary arrangements, but we will be placing the best interests of students at the centre of our deliberations,” Professor Masters said.  

“In conducting this review, we will be looking forward to a future in which students learn in new, more flexible ways and technology plays a greater role in assessment, rather than looking backward to arrangements of the past.

“In the next decade we can expect to see increasing use of new technologies in schools, often enabling learning to be assessed interactively to provide snapshots of student performance at particular points in time.”

The review also anticipates changes that place a greater emphasis on generic skills such as communicating, problem solving and information management.

“In the future, we can expect to see changes in the kinds of learning that society values,” Professor Masters said.

In relation to tertiary entrance procedures, Professor Masters noted that the higher education sector was undergoing reforms to remove barriers to student entry and to increase participation.

“In the more demand-driven system of the future, some processes for managing competition for entry are likely to become less relevant,” Professor Masters said.

“Our focus will be on understanding the intended and unintended consequences of current tertiary entrance procedures and making recommendations appropriate to the changing objectives and circumstances of higher education institutions,” he said.

The review, to be completed by the end of June 2014, will include public consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, including state and non-state schooling sectors, the Queensland Studies Authority, the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, universities and other tertiary education providers, secondary school principals’ associations, parents’ associations, teacher unions and university staff associations.

Dr Gabrielle Matters is available for comment.

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Media enquiries: Steve Holden, 03 9277 5582 or 0419 340 058 communications@acer.edu.au