Principal Update, 5 March 2018
NAPLAN Online directive
Thank you to all QTU school leader members who have been working in their schools and local areas to ensure that the directive not to participate in NAPLAN Online and related activities is being implemented. It is important to remind people that the directive refers not only to the test being undertaken in May but also to professional development, information sessions and other preparations for NAPLAN Online. Your QTU Organiser and the Senior Officers of the Union are available to talk with you if you require further information to support the implementation of the directive at your workplace. Clearly, if the whole NAPLAN regime is to have a well overdue review, it would be a waste of already stretched school resources to continue with implementing NAPLAN Online.
It is important that any QTU school leader member experiencing pressure to go ahead with NAPLAN Online contacts the Union immediately to seek support.
Process for withdrawing from NAPLAN Online
The Department of Education has confirmed that the only action a school need undertake to withdraw from or opt out of NAPLAN Online is for the principal to send an email to NAPLAN.Online@det.qld.gov.au. The NAPLAN Online team is supporting schools with this process.
It’s making an impact
The action being taken by QTU members has drawn attention to the need for a) a review of NAPLAN by the federal government and b) a serious discussion about the impact of NAPLAN in Queensland schools. So far, four state and territory Education Ministers have indicated that they will call for a review of NAPLAN at the Education Ministerial Council in May. Queensland’s Minister Grace Grace has also indicated that she intends to work with the QTU to address the serious concerns of teachers and school leaders regarding the culture and practices which have emerged over the decade the NAPLAN regime has been in place.
It is pleasing to note that the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association has recently joined the professional voices calling on the federal government to review NAPLAN.
Schools where the principal has determined to not follow the directive and NAPLAN Online will go ahead
The QTU is continuing to work toward full implementation of the directive, however we are aware of some schools where the principal has announced that the school will remain in NAPLAN Online for 2018. This is disappointing, given that the aim of the directive is to draw attention to the ongoing serious concerns about NAPLAN raised by many school leaders. Given that the vast majority of teachers in schools across Queensland are QTU members and are therefore subject to the directive, QTU members cannot be expected to participate in NAPLAN Online. The QTU will not tolerate threats against members, principals or classroom teachers, to force them to participate. It is also important to note that United Voice has informed its teacher-aide members that their union is expressing support and solidarity for the QTU directive.
For more information about NAPLAN and the NAPLAN Online directive, please visit the QTU website at www.qtu.asn.au/naplan. Information is being constantly updated as it becomes available.
Again, thank you for the important work you are doing to ensure our professional voices are heard.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union