QTU members' newsflash No. 36-20, 4 August 2020 | DOWNLOAD PDF
Members are encouraged to hold off on preparations for NAPLAN Online 2021
As part of the government package recently and overwhelmingly accepted by members, the Queensland Government and Education Minister Grace Grace have committed to advocating for “the replacement of NAPLAN in its current form and move to a more effective and contemporary national assessment that is directed to system accountability purposes” at the forthcoming Education Council meeting on 4 September.
In light of the position of the state government and this advocacy from the State Education Minister, the QTU believes that members should hold off on any preparations for the 2021 NAPLAN test at this time.
The QTU will write to the Education Minister, calling on her to ask the Department of Education to defer all preparations for the 2021 test, including school readiness activities and participation in QCAA, regional or school-based professional development activities, pending the outcomes of the September Education Council meeting.
Such a stance will reinforce the recent commitments provided to QTU members by the Queensland Government by demonstrating the government’s bona fides.
If schools come under pressure to continue preparations for 2021, members may seek a directive from the QTU to not participate in any preparations for the NAPLAN 2021 test.
The cross-jurisdictional review of NAPLAN is due to hand down its final report to the Education Council in September, and it may well recommend a replacement for NAPLAN as we know it. The reviewers proposed some interesting alternatives in their interim report.
State Council – 22 August
Delegates at QTU State Council on 22 August will hear a progress report on national developments with regard to NAPLAN, including an independent report from the Gonski Institute on national testing, which will be available at that time and may inform the debate and decision-making.
Delegates will then consider the future action to be taken, including requesting another ballot on banning NAPLAN in all its forms until further notice.
As advised in the Newsflash of 24 June, the disruption caused by COVID-19 prompted Education Ministers at the June meeting of Education Council to cancel this year’s NAPLAN tests and defer the full transition of all schools to NAPLAN Online until 2022.
The decision to cancel NAPLAN came during a QTU members’ ballot on banning any involvement in the 2020 tests, and as a result the ballot was suspended.
While the QTU does not have a current ban in place on NAPLAN preparations for 2021, members have been seeking advice from the Union on whether they should be participating in school readiness activities in preparation for NAPLAN 2021.
Boycott of Australian Teacher Workforce Data Survey
Late last week, QTU members will have received an email from the Queensland College of Teachers advising that an email with a unique link to the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Australian Teacher Workforce Data (ATWD) Survey for 2020 would be sent this week.
The ATWD National Initial Teacher Education and Teacher Workforce Characteristics Report looks at employment rates, graduate outcomes and perceptions, early career/induction experiences and those planning to leave the profession.
Due to ongoing and unresolved concerns with privacy and the absence of practicing teachers and school leaders on the ATWD oversight and AITSL boards, QTU members are encouraged not to participate in this voluntary survey.
Strong support from QTU members for a similar boycott in 2019 resulted in Queensland returning only a small fraction of the survey returns supplied by the rest of the country.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064