30 August 2017 | No. 07-17 | Download as PDF

To: QTU members

QTU withdraws support for NAPLAN Online

QTU members would be aware that earlier this year, Minister for Education Kate Jones determined that Queensland schools would not participate in NAPLAN Online due to ongoing technical concerns.

The Queensland Teachers’ Union State Council has now determined that the QTU will withdraw support for the introduction of NAPLAN Online.  The most recent meeting of the Australian Education Union Federal Executive also decided to withdraw support for its introduction and to lobby federal, state and territory ministers to end its development and use. While State Council also determined that there is a need to review the entire NAPLAN program, the immediate focus remains on NAPLAN Online.

The QTU has previously expressed concern regarding:

  • the appropriateness of online NAPLAN testing for younger students
  • equity issues for schools and students
  • the further pressure on teachers to conduct NAPLAN preparation programs addressing student ICT skills for the specific purpose of undertaking online testing
  • disruption to schools during a testing period undertaken over two weeks
  • insufficient ICT hardware and bandwidth.

The QTU is also concerned about a lack of transparency regarding the involvement of commercial interests and so-called edu-business in the development and delivery of NAPLAN Online and associated products. The QTU maintains ongoing concerns regarding the high-stakes nature of the test and the continuing over-emphasis on the results to the exclusion of the broader curriculum.

In due course, the QTU will distribute further information and conduct a statewide ballot of members regarding a ban on the introduction of and/or involvement in the development of NAPLAN Online

Advice for schools that have or are about to participate in school readiness testing or item trialling

173 state schools have been selected to transition to NAPLAN Online in 2018, and many have been participating in the school readiness testing and item trialling. The QTU encourages members in these schools to hold a workplace meeting to consider the following motion:

That the QTU members at <name of school> request a directive from the Union to withdraw support for NAPLAN Online and cease involvement in school readiness testing, item trialling or any related preparation program for NAPLAN Online.

The results of the ballot should be forwarded to the QTU including the date of the meeting, the number of members in attendance at the meeting and the outcome of the ballot.  Results can be sent via fax 07 3512 9050 or email to qtu@qtu.asn.au.

Upon receipt of advice that QTU members have voted in favour of seeking a directive, the QTU will issue a directive to members in that school and they will cease involvement in any NAPLAN Online related activities.

It must be noted that no statewide ban is currently in place.  QTU members will need to consider this motion on a school by school basis until such time as a statewide ballot is conducted.

QTU members seeking further advice or wishing to seek a directive to withdraw from NAPLAN Online should contact their local Regional Organiser in the first instance.

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union