No. 03-19, 14 March 209| DOWNLOAD PDF
To QTU Members
14 March 2019: NAPLAN Online ban lifted
At a special meeting held on Wednesday afternoon, QTU Executive determined to remove the ban on NAPLAN Online, effective immediately.
The Executive received a report regarding the outcomes of the 2018 Queensland NAPLAN Review and the Queensland Government’s response.
In receiving this report, Executive formed the view that the conditions established by QTU State Council in August 2018 had been met and consequently the ban should be lifted.
The following are the conditions established by the State Council.
- The Queensland Department of Education can guarantee that there would be no disadvantage experienced by those moving to NAPLAN Online (e.g. disadvantage may include a decline in results leading to a review by exception or impacting promotional positions, the wellbeing of children or fostering negative media reports).
- 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 act on the findings of the Queensland NAPLAN Review.
The NAPLAN joint statement was signed on 25 October 2018. Advice regarding the features of the joint statement and the joint statement itself can be found here. The remaining conditions had not been met until advice was received from the government on Tuesday 12 March.
In correspondence to the QTU, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Industrial Relations, the Hon Grace Grace, has committed to:
- ensuring no disadvantage is experienced by those moving to NAPLAN Online
- acting on the findings of the Queensland NAPLAN Review, which will be released in coming weeks.
This includes statements such as “Queensland will take a cautious approach to reporting, reviewing and/or using online results for accountability and other purposes to ensure no school is disadvantaged by moving online.” The letter also committed to the Department of Education working closely with the QTU and other stakeholders to implement the actions that will be pursued to address the findings of the review in the coming months, as well as working in partnership with the QTU to review both the Joint Statement on NAPLAN and the Joint Statement on the Purpose and Use of Data in Queensland Schools.
Wins of QTU members
QTU members should be proud that their willingness to take action regarding NAPLAN Online has resulted in these commitments, among others, being met.
Other gains that have resulted from the action of QTU members include:
- the Queensland Government committing to a review of NAPLAN (which was conducted in 2018)
- highlighting the misuse of NAPLAN data and the significant and growing gap between NAPLAN at its inception and how it is used in 2019
- moving the national conversation on NAPLAN from ambivalent acceptance to serious questioning of its continuation and purpose, based on research and evidence
- challenging the claims of some that parents want NAPLAN and it should therefore stay
- a commitment from federal Labor that, if elected, it will conduct a comprehensive national review of NAPLAN
- creating, with the support of the Queensland Government, a national movement towards replacing the current model of testing with a new and better alternative.
Queensland, supported by the actions of QTU members, has led the movement to recognise NAPLAN as an artefact of the previous decade that needs to be reviewed and abandoned.
Where to from here
The Union is aware that some schools have been participating in readiness testing for NAPLAN Online in 2019. These schools should be able to move forward to participating in the NAPLAN Online test this year.
Arising from the decision of Executive to lift the NAPLAN Online ban, the QTU will seek to meet with the department as a matter of urgency to reach agreement about the expectations of schools that have not already registered to undertake the NAPLAN practice test, or those that have not completed readiness testing within the past 12 months in relation to NAPLAN Online in 2019.
It is the view of the QTU that those schools that have not participated in readiness testing in the past 12 months, but may have participated in previous years, should not be pressured into being part of NAPLAN Online in 2019. The QTU expects that if schools wish to move to NAPLAN Online, this occur following consultation and agreement at the school level. This consultation should include consideration of the additional time, support and resources that will be necessary if it chooses to participate, and the impact on student learning and staff and student wellbeing.
Members who feel that they are being pressured to participate in NAPLAN Online now the ban is lifted, despite a school-based decision not to be involved in NAPLAN Online in 2019, should contact their QTU Organiser for further assistance and advice.
The campaign is not over
In determining to lift the NAPLAN Online ban, QTU Executive committed to continuing to campaign to bring about an end to NAPLAN testing. Consequently, until NAPLAN testing is ceased, the campaign continues.
The QTU will provide members with further advice and information in relation to the Queensland NAPLAN Review and the government’s response as they are made available.
RAISE YOUR VOICES FOR EB9
A rally to call on the government to hear our claim and our call for improved conditions and salaries for QTU members will be held on Tuesday 26 March. Details of the rally are here or click the image below.
Advice on how regional members can become involved in the week of action and the rally will be forwarded to Union Reps in regional and remote areas.
Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union