QTU NAPLAN Online ban: still in place
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 123 No 6, 31 August 2018, page no.10
The QTU ban on NAPLAN Online remains in place.
In June, in consideration of the Queensland Government’s agreement to a review of NAPLAN and the commencement of negotiations on a NAPLAN joint statement, the QTU Executive determined to lift the ban, but ONLY in relation to time sensitive NAPLAN Online training and readiness activities. This decision was communicated in a Newsflash on 27 June (www.qtu.asn.au/nflash-27jun-banchanged).
In the absence of a decision as to whether NAPLAN Online will take place in 2019, the QTU agreed with the Department of Education that a limited range of activities could be undertaken throughout semester two to ensure that workload and resources were not put under strain in the early part of 2019, should the Union lift the ban on the test.
QTU members may be aware that, in early August, a number of questions arose about the capacity of ACARA to compare the results achieved in the NAPLAN Online test with those arising from the paper test. As a result of QTU action banning NAPLAN Online in 2018, only 18 Queensland schools broke the Union directive and implemented the online test. The QTU asserts that if the Department of Education or the Queensland Government retain any concerns about NAPLAN Online, then they must make the decision to withdraw Queensland schools until such time as they are assured that there are no issues. If the Department of Education cannot provide teachers and school leaders with an assurance that no disadvantage will be experienced by those schools moving to NAPLAN Online, the QTU ban on NAPLAN Online must remain in place.
On 11 August, QTU State Council resolved that the ban on the 2019 NAPLAN Online test would only be lifted if:
- the Queensland Department of Education can guarantee that there will be no disadvantage experienced by those moving to NAPLAN Online
- an effective joint statement between the Union and the Department of Education that addresses the concerns the QTU has raised about the impact of NAPLAN in Queensland has been negotiated
- the Queensland Government is committed to acting on the findings of the Queensland NAPLAN review.
To support negotiation of a joint statement on NAPLAN in Queensland schools, the QTU has released a position statement (www.qtu.asn.au/ps-naplan). This addresses a wide range of issues, including curriculum planning, assessment, academic reporting, NAPLAN preparation, use of NAPLAN data and student wellbeing. It is hoped that the joint statement will be available to schools in term four to support school planning for 2019.
The Queensland review of NAPLAN is now underway and QTU members are encouraged to look out for their opportunity to contribute their thoughts and experiences. While the QTU as a major stakeholder will provide feedback to the review on behalf of members, it is important that all teachers, school leaders and other members of the school community impacted by NAPLAN take the time to have their say.
Final results of the QTU’s NAPLAN survey have now been released. These are available on the QTU website (www.qtu.asn.au/naplan-survey-report-2018).