All systems go for new QCE
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 3, 13 April 2018, p8
With the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) system commencing next year, there has been a flurry of activity across the state in preparation for the biggest shake up of senior assessment that Queensland has seen for 40 years.
Since June last year, teachers of senior subjects across the state have been attending professional development opportunities run by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). The QCAA will reimburse schools for the TRS used to release teachers to attend these statewide PD opportunities. Given that a significant budget has been set aside at the QCAA for this purpose, it is important that the cost of the TRS is claimed back.
These sessions enable teachers to become familiar with new and/or redesigned senior syllabuses, including sample internal assessment items, where available. The mock external assessments will start development next term and will be available in semester one, 2019, in time for students who will sit these in October/November 2020.
The QTU has received feedback in relation to the QCAA assessment PD modules, which only have to be completed by teachers who wish to undertake work as an assessor, marking external assessment items. The modules, while not compulsory, are highly recommended and are designed to deepen knowledge around assessment to support teachers in the transition to the new system. It is reasonable for teachers to be asked to complete these modules if they are released from face-to-face rostered duty time, however the completion of these modules in a teacher’s own time is voluntary.
Members have reported some frustration at the delay in the final publication of the QCE and QCIA Policy and Procedures Handbook, however the QTU understands that its release is imminent. Once the handbook is available, members with concerns about aspects of the introduction of the new QCE should raise their concerns directly with the QCAA.
In term four last year, the Department of Education held 15 forums and completed a regional listening tour. It has also produced a statement of expectations outlining the school actions for a successful transition to the new QCE system from 2018 until 2020. It is highly recommended that schools develop a moderation and monitoring plan to track the school’s progress against five transition categories.
Members will recall that the QTU sought and secured an additional 230 FTE teachers as additional resourcing from the department, to cater for the “half-cohort”. This was to ensure that these students would have equitable access to a suite of subjects, and not be disadvantaged due to the size of their cohort, which varies from school to school. The intention was to ensure that students from this cohort could continue to access a similar range of subject choices available to previous cohorts.
The QTU encourages school leaders and teacher members to carefully review their school’s progress in preparation for the new QCE, including SET planning processes and subject selections, while ensuring that the school complies with the P-12 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework with regard to the need to teach the full year 10 Australian Curriculum. Schools with concerns about the implementation and resourcing should, in the first instance, contact relevant personnel in regional office to discuss.
The QTU will also be undertaking a survey of members in term two to determine the level of member satisfaction with the QCAA and the department’s resources and readiness activities in relation to the implementation of the new syllabuses, assessment system and tertiary entrance processes.
Research Officer – Professional issues