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Move NAPLAN tests to start of the year: Greens

Media Release
Penny Wright 11 May 2014

NAPLAN tests should be moved to the start of the year to limit "cramming" sessions and relieve pressure on students, says Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright also urged the Government to remove school ranking and comparative functions from the MySchool website, in line with the findings of her Senate inquiry report.

"Moving NAPLAN tests to the beginning of the year would be less disruptive to students and reduce the temptation for excessive coaching sessions," Senator Wright said.

"NAPLAN has become a high-stakes test, where schools are so concerned about MySchool rankings that NAPLAN preparation is taking over the rest of the curriculum.

"Holding the tests in term one would also mean the data could get back to teachers and parents early in the year, so there is plenty of time to address any learning gaps."

A Senate Inquiry into NAPLAN initiated by Senator Wright recently found the test had drifted away from its original purpose.

"My inquiry found very clearly it's time for a NAPLAN overhaul," Senator Wright said.

"NAPLAN was designed to track students and help them - not to rank schools or as a private school entry test.

"These things have made it a high-stakes test, which is changing how schools teach for the worse and putting excessive pressure on kids.

"My inquiry put NAPLAN to the test and found it just wasn't making the grade - it's time for an overhaul so the tests can be about helping kids learn again."


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