Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek Allan Reinikka

OP ranks being reviewed as to whether system works

IT IS a number that strikes fear into most Queensland students, but current Year 8 classes may never know how it feels to be terrified by a single number.

The OP rank from one to 25 grades Queensland high-schoolers, often governing what courses they can study at university.

Schools routinely celebrate students who manage to score a one, the highest possible rank.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek is giving the Australian Centre for Education Research $500,000 to review the scheme, introduced in 1992, and decide whether the system still works.

For nine months, a review will be carried out by ACER into how OPs and tertiary entry are handled, with the government promising consultation with teachers, universities and others.

The results will be handed to the government before the end of April next year, with any decisions to be delivered before the end of July.

Independent Schools Queensland backed the review, promising to work closely with the government and reviewers on the evaluation.

For those currently being weighed down by backpacks filled with textbooks, no concrete changes will be in place before 2016, when the current crop of junior high-schoolers hit Year 11.

Although often considered by students to the most important number in their lives, many universities offer courses based on school results, work experience and other factors beyond the static number.

Mr Langbroek said he felt it was time to "get rid of the mystery and mystique" of how students receive their OP.

"There could be some change, there may be no change, there may be significant change," Mr Langbroek said.

"Those are all things I'm going to leave up to experts."

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