NAPLAN is set to be scrapped.
NAPLAN is set to be scrapped.

Teachers told NAPLAN to be scrapped within days

The powerful teachers' union is instructing teachers to halt preparation for NAPLAN, saying it is a waste of time and energy in anticipating the test could be scrapped in a fortnight.

Queensland Teachers' Union President Kevin Bates said every year, schools start preparing during this term for NAPLAN, held the following May, so was encouraging its members not to "waste time and energy on something that might not happen."

The Queensland Government promised the 47,000 member -strong teachers' union it would advocate for replacing NAPLAN, as part of a deal which followed teacher anger and lobbying over the government's pay-rise deferral for principals and teachers.

Queensland Teachers Union President Kevin Bates says members are being told not to prepare for next year’s NAPLAN tests. Picture: Claudia Baxter
Queensland Teachers Union President Kevin Bates says members are being told not to prepare for next year’s NAPLAN tests. Picture: Claudia Baxter

However, for the test to be replaced it would require consensus at the Education Council, comprising the Commonwealth, State and Territory Education Ministers.

"Part of it is obviously that the government has given us a commitment they will advocate for its replacement on the 4th of September at the Education Council meeting, that is only a fortnight away," Mr Bates said.

"Schools, they're starting now to prepare for NAPLAN next year, there's a whole range of processes they have to go through, that's work that's being done for an uncertain purpose, it's our view you don't waste time and energy for something that might not happen in its current form, given both those considerations at Education Council and COVID-19 which saw NAPLAN not happen this year," Mr Bates said.

Mr Bates said the Union had made no secret of its opposition to the test which requires a "ludicrously ridiculous amount of work for what's supposedly a low stakes test".

The contentious testing has been subject to several reviews, with a parents survey during the 2018 Queensland NAPLAN Review, revealing about 40 per cent said their children had a positive or very positive attitude towards NAPLAN and 50 per cent were motivated or highly motivated about the test.

However, about 55 per cent of parents said they recognised their children were anxious or very anxious about NAPLAN and 68 per cent held the view that schools spent too much time preparing students for the test.

"On the basis of the three-way examination of parents' views of the worth of NAPLAN, it can be concluded that NAPLAN is not generally seen to be worthwhile," author Dr Gabrielle Matters wrote.

"The reviewers observed that the majority of parents surveyed do not fully understand the purpose of NAPLAN and so their ability to fully judge its value and benefits is reduced.

"Overall, it appears that parents believe that the high-stakes nature of NAPLAN puts pressure on students, teachers and schools that is not balanced by benefits of using the data."