Year of historic changes ahead for Queensland schools

Year of historic changes ahead for Queensland schools

This year, Queensland’s private school enrolments are expected to exceed 123,000, reflecting strong growth across the sector.

Four new schools have been approved to open this year, bringing the total number of private schools opening their doors this year to 210.

Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) executive director, David Robertson, said among the students enrolling at independent schools in 2019 would be about 7,400 new Prep students and more than 12,000 Year 7s entering high school.

“2019 is a milestone year for Queensland schooling with historic changes to the state’s senior assessment and tertiary entrance systems commencing,” Robertson said.

From 2020, Queensland’s high school students will join the rest of the country in receiving Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranks (ATAR) when the state ditches the Overall Position (OP) score.

More than 50,000 Year 11 students across the state, including about 11,500 at independent schools, will be the first to study new subjects, sit external exams in Year 12 and graduate with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) instead of an Overall Position (OP).

Robertson said as well as being a year of firsts, 2019 would also be a year of lasts, with the 2019 cohort of Year 12s being the last group to sit the Queensland Core Skills Test and the last to receive an OP.

“The 2019 cohort of Year 12s are also a history-making group because they were the first to start the full-time Prep Year when it was introduced by the Queensland Government in 2007,” he said.

Principals, teachers and other school staff have been hard at work preparing their education programs and classrooms ahead of the first school bell, while parents have been busy finalising stationary, uniforms and family schedules.

Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network executive officer, Sue Kloeden, said establishing positive routines early was important for students and parents.

“I encourage parents to talk with their schools about how best to help their children settle in, particularly Prep students and those who are new to a school,” Kloeden said.

“Parents have a positive role to play in partnership with teachers in their child’s education. Decades of research has shown that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s learning when they: set high, but realistic, expectations for their child; read with them; encourage good study habits; create a stimulating home environment; and reinforce and connect learning in the classroom with everyday activities at home.”