1 December 2017 | No. 13-17 | Download as pdf

Ban of NAPLAN Online and robot marking carried overwhelmingly

The ballot to ban NAPLAN Online and robot marking closed at midday today.

At the close of the ballot, more than 20,000 members have had their say regarding NAPLAN Online, robot marking of the writing task, a review of NAPLAN and the phonics test for six-year-olds.

Members have carried the following resolutions:

Resolution YES NO
1 Are you in favour of the QTU issuing a directive to ban NAPLAN Online in 2018 (including readiness activities, trials and other preparations)? 18634
89%
2113
10%
2 Are you in favour of the QTU banning robot marking of student writing tasks? 19191
92%
1526
7%
3 Are you in favour of a complete review of the NAPLAN testing regime? 19853
95%
893
4%
4 Do you support a future ballot to consider banning changes (such as a standardised phonics assessment for six-year olds) that the federal government attempts to
impose as part of funding arrangements?
19214
92%
1497
7%

NB.  For each question1% of the ballot returned were declared informal.

As a consequence, the QTU will issue the directive to ban NAPLAN Online in 2018 and robot marking of student writing tasks when school recommences in January next year.

Prior to the issuing of the directive, further discussions will occur with the Minister for Education once the new government is formed.

Position of the government

While the outcome of the state election is yet to be finalised, it is likely that Labor will form government in Queensland.  Consequently, it is timely to remind members of the comments regarding NAPLAN and the phonics test released by the Minister for Education, Hon Kate Jones, during the election campaign.

“It was by listening to the concerns of teachers and principals that I was able to make an informed decision to change the timeline for implementation of the P-10 Australian Curriculum and to delay the implementation of the new system for senior assessment and tertiary entrance.  I am very aware of the concerns teachers and principals have regarding NAPLAN and I think after 10 years of NAPLAN, it’s time for a review.

I’ve been one of the strongest voices questioning the readiness of ACARA to undertake NAPLAN Online. Queensland was the first state to withdraw from NAPLAN Online this year. I have always said I will not sign up Queensland to NAPLAN Online until I can be confident that no student will be disadvantaged.

I believe the best placed people to make judgements about student work are professional educators – the teachers and principals who know them well and teach them each day. That’s why I ensured robot marking would not replace the role of teachers and dual marking will be in place for NAPLAN in 2018.

As I have publicly stated, I am yet to be convinced that testing six year olds in high stakes testing is beneficial for those children. I believe Queensland’s teachers should decide how to assess student learning needs, not a federal government that doesn’t run one school.”

End of school year for remote schools

Today marks the end of the school year for our members in the state’s remote schools.

While the remainder of Queensland schools close next week, it is timely to thank members for all of their hard work over the past year.

It has been a busy one, with EB implementation, the pilot for highly accomplished and lead teachers, the commencement of the Promotional Positions Classification Review, the review of RAIS and the teacher transfer process, efforts to focus on strategies to improve workload and wellbeing, and a state election. 

Thank you for your collective efforts in improving your working conditions and the learning conditions of the students that you teach.

For those of you retiring or changing professions, may the next phase in your lives be successful.

The QTU wishes you happy and safe holidays and looks forward to continuing to work with and on behalf of members in the new year.


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