A low OP score is not stopping people studying teaching in Queensland.
A low OP score is not stopping people studying teaching in Queensland.

The low OP score that will get you on a teaching degree

SCHOOL students can get into teaching degrees at Queensland universities with OPs as low as 17.

An analysis of OP scores listed on Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre's website found students wanting to study teaching in 2019 needed a minimum OP ranging from 4 to 17.

Students wanting to study a bachelor of primary education at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Brisbane campus needed a minimum OP of 17.

Central Queensland University required OPs ranging between 13 and 15, while Griffith's three southeast campuses also required a 13.

A low OP score is not stopping people studying teaching in Queensland.
A low OP score is not stopping people studying teaching in Queensland.

While these numbers are the minimum entry score required, it does not mean every student accepted into a teaching degree received a lower OP.

It comes after Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek declared universities would be barred from allowing low-scoring high school students entry into teaching degrees under a Federal Labor Government, claiming the profession was becoming a last-resort option.

ACU executive dean of education Professor Elizabeth Labone said students were not selected on the basis of OP or ATAR alone.

"They enter on the basis of academic and non-academic selection," she said.

"OPs and ATARs (are) one of a number of factors that ACU considers in order to provide the strength and diversity needed for teachers in our classrooms.

"It is very rare for students to be accepted on low OPs, but when they are, it's because there are extenuating personal circumstances that we take into account.

"The reality is that most of ACU students enter on a much higher rank than the published cut-off which only lists the lowest entrant not the highest or median."


The minimum OP requirements for teaching degrees.
The minimum OP requirements for teaching degrees.


Students wanting to study teaching in Queensland must have also passed four semesters of English in high school, and four semesters of either maths A, B or C.

OPs range from 1 to 25 with the latter being the lowest, however Queensland will move to an ATAR system from 2020 which will bring the state in line with the rest of the country.

A recent report by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership revealed less than 10 per cent of total admissions into teaching programs had an ATAR of 70 (OP 14) or less.

CQU Provost Professor Helen Huntly said while the university supported Ms Plibersek's aspiration, there was no evidence to show that a high ATAR equated to high quality teachers.

"In order to attract and retain high quality teachers, CQUniversity believes the focus should be placed on promoting the benefits of the profession and attracting more students to enter the profession," she said.

A government spokesman said it supported Labor's proposed reforms to attract high quality people to the teaching profession.

"Queensland has worked closely to ensure we improve national standards for teacher pre-qualifications," he said.