No. 07-21, 19 March 2021 | DOWNLOAD PDF
To QTU Members,
League tables scrapped; New QTU Deputy General Secretary elected
Welcome decision to scrap league tables
The Queensland Teachers’ Union (QTU) welcomes the education ministers’ decision to prevent league tables being created from NAPLAN results. Unlike others, we do not believe the ban on league tables is “insulting” to parents. QTU members have argued for years that the “point in time” test does not reflect student learning outcomes. The ban does not prevent parents from receiving their own child’s NAPLAN outcomes, but it is a welcome step toward removing some of the elements that make NAPLAN a high stakes test.
The QTU knows that schools are so much more than NAPLAN. NAPLAN does not provide any particular insight into a school, it is a “point in time” test of some elements of literacy and numeracy. If parents want to know how their child is progressing at school, it is A-E reporting on all curriculum areas and speaking with their child’s teacher that will provide them with the best information. Learning is a partnership between parents, students and teachers/schools. A “point in time” test does not foster this partnership.
The QTU continues to support member choice in relation to whether their own children should be doing NAPLAN and encourages members to meet with their local MPs to explain the importance of ending NAPLAN in its current form. Members are also advised that, if a parent asks you if their child is required to participate in the NAPLAN test, you can inform them that “students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer. This is a matter for consideration by individual parents/carers in consultation with their child’s school.” It is, and has always been, a parent’s choice, in consultation with their school, if they wish their children to undertake NAPLAN testing (Handbook for principals and NAPLAN coordinators 2021).
NAPLAN and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC)
This week, the QTU launched an appeal against the Industrial Court’s decision in relation to the QTU’s appeal against the QIRC’s NAPLAN orders. While this is unlikely to result in members not being required to facilitate the NAPLAN test this year, QTU Executive decided that the Union should exhaust all legal avenues in relation to NAPLAN.
New QTU Deputy General Secretary elected
Yesterday, the Electoral Commission of Queensland issued an interim certificate of election advising that Leah Mertens has been elected to the vacant Deputy General Secretary – Member Services position.
Leah joins the new QTU leadership team alongside the other senior officers: Kate Ruttiman (General Secretary), Brendan Crotty (Deputy General Secretary – Member Organising), Cresta Richardson (President), Leah Olsson (Vice-President) and Jenny Swadling (Honorary Vice-President).
A former languages teacher, Leah has held many roles in the Union over the past 26 years, including Women’s Officer and Research Officer – Professional Issues. Her depth of knowledge in these areas will complement the skills and experience of the other QTU senior officers.
We congratulate Leah on her election and look forward to working with her as we keep winning with members.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064