Fewer Queensland Year 12 students gained senior school qualifications in 2020, a year characterised by severe disruptions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority data shows in 2020, 45,188 students were awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education, given to students who attained at least 20 credits and met literacy and numeracy requirements.
That equates to 91 per cent of all students who completed Year 12 in Queensland.
In comparison, 95 per cent of Year 12s received a QCE in 2018, and 94 per cent in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
All Queensland students were required to learn from home from April 20 to mid-May, unless they were the child of an essential worker or considered vulnerable.
Despite the percentage of Year 12s to score a QCE being lower in 2020 compared with the past four years, the total number of students to receive the certificate was higher in 2020 compared with 2019.
However, the 2019 graduating cohort was smaller than usual.
Fewer Year 12s received a QCE in total in 2020 compared with 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Fewer students also completed a university subject or a school-based apprenticeship in 2020 compared with three out of the past four years.
Education Minister Grace Grace congratulated the latest batch of school-leavers.
“I’m especially proud of these resilient young people from the class of 2020, who were the first full Prep cohort, the first Year 7s at high school, and the first to switch to our new senior assessment and tertiary entrance system - and then had to navigate COVID-19,” she said.
Ms Grace also celebrated high-achieving students, including 38 who received QCE outstanding academic achievements.
“These graduates are among our brightest young minds and are set to become tomorrow’s software engineers, surgeons, data scientists and medical researchers,” she said.
Ms Grace said the class of 2020 was the first to graduate in the new QCE system, which included new syllabuses, external exams and the ATAR.
LNP education spokesman Christian Rowan congratulated Queensland’s high-achieving school students, but said the Labor government had a responsibility to ensure all students had access to content to help them secure jobs or access further education.