Senior Assessment and Tertiary Entrance in Queensland schools

[updated 10 Feb 2017]

 A new senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems begin in Queensland with students entering Year 11 in 2019.

The new systems include:

  • a model that uses school-based assessment and external assessment
  • processes that strengthen the quality and comparability of school-based assessment
  • introducing the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).

The QCAA [Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority] is redeveloping and revising senior syllabuses to support the introduction of Queensland’s new senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems. More information is available on the QCAA website


Review of senior assessment and tertiary entrance.

To inform their research, the QCAA ’s senior curriculum and assessment working groups conducted an online survey during April 2015 to obtain some broad feedback on assessment processes and the proposed role of school-based and external assessment in Queensland senior schooling.

The survey successfully engaged a significant segment of the workforce, with 93 per cent of 4465 respondents being either teachers, heads of department, principals or deputy principals. More than half of all respondents had either past or current experience as review panellists.


In broad terms, the survey confirmed what the Australian Council for Educational Research discovered in its review and QCAA subsequently found when it conducted meetings with over 300 secondary school principals in March 2015 — there is overwhelming support for preserving and strengthening school-based assessment and the introduction of complementary external assessments.

Over 90 per cent of all respondents want to preserve school-based assessment through initiatives such as endorsing assessments before they are used in schools (85 per cent). Over 70 per cent of respondents expressed a desire for external assessment to be introduced into the Queensland system but there were mixed views on the extent to which it should contribute to a student’s overall grade.

As a feedback mechanism for respondents, the QCAA Board has made the survey results publicly available on its website.

the review process and timelines

A Ministerial Taskforce, the Senior Secondary Assessment Taskforce, was established to oversee the changes to the senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems.

  • Member were advised by Newsflash that the QTU’s rep on the Taskforce is Sam Pidgeon, Vice President.

Updates from the Taskforce will be posted here when available.

Head to the DET taskforce webpage to view earlier updates and more information

Timelines : October 2014 to September 2015

October 2014 

November 2014

  • Delegates at the  meeting of QTU State Council considered the review recommendations and further refined the QTU Response which continues to be our position

25 August 2015

from 2018