AEU welcomes long overdue NAPLAN review

The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch welcomes today’s announcement of the terms of reference for a NAPLAN review across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. 

The AEU has repeatedly called for a comprehensive review of NAPLAN. Teachers and principals do not support the test as it undermines the quality of education in our schools. 

It has caused stress and anxiety for students and staff, is impacting on the curriculum and how it is taught and is giving parents a narrow view of their child’s progress.

The review will determine the broader objectives of standardised testing and assess how well NAPLAN is meeting those objectives, as well as looking at alternatives. The AEU welcomes comments by Minister for Education James Merlino that the review could lead to the scrapping of NAPLAN all together.

“This full review, called by state governments with a combined responsibility for more than three quarters of all students in Australia, provides the best opportunity to date to consider the impact of NAPLAN on our schools, students and staff over the last decade,” said Meredith Peace, AEU Victorian Branch President.

“After a decade of this failed testing regime, we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the review of NAPLAN. We have called for the implementation of assessment processes which are driven by teachers and intricately linked with teaching and learning in our schools. The current approach puts political and bureaucratic objectives ahead of what students really need.

“Our members have repeatedly told us that NAPLAN simply isn’t working. Teachers must be at the centre of reviewing and developing curriculum and assessment approaches, and they must be at the centre of providing students and parents with real insights into academic achievement across all curriculum areas.

“The most effective way to assess students is the informed judgement of a teacher. A point in time standardised test cannot capture the abilities and progress of a diverse student population.

“Given these significant concerns of the teaching profession, it is time to end NAPLAN and develop a new assessment strategy that has students and teachers at its heart.

The AEU hopes that the relatively short timeframe for the review will not compromise the rigour of the review or deny teachers and principals the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.

“A review of NAPLAN is well overdue and we look forward to providing the views of our members through this process,” said Ms Peace.


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