The profession sidelined

Mark Northam
Assistant Secretary

IEU has written formally to NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli to voice concerns in relation to the artificial linkage of Year 9 NAPLAN results to the attainment of an HSC.

The absence of consultation regarding the proposal (and an evidence base for same) along with implementation in 2017 (Term 1) has resulted in some 1500 IEU members responding to an online survey.

In brief:

•66% of respondents said the process has not been clearly explained to them

•64% of respondents said they were concerned about the effect that connecting NAPLAN performance to HSC attainment might have

• only 13% of respondents understand the exemptions process for students with disabilities and other circumstances, with only 15% understanding special provisions processes

• over half of respondents are worried about the workload implications of NAPLAN supervision

• over 65% of respondents said their school is not well equipped to offer differentiated courses to ensure students who ‘fail’ NAPLAN in Year 9 can attain the HSC

•64% of respondents said these changes will impact their existing curriculum (to be more focussed on NAPLAN testing), and

•only 10% of respondents said their school was ready to implement NAPLAN changes in 2017.

The issues stem from the avoidance of consultation processes as how to best consider an initiative. It is somewhat incongruous for BOSTES to be articulating revamped assessment structures for senior years (in essence the reinforcement of boundaries to the number of assessment tasks) and simultaneously magnifying the significance of Year 9 NAPLAN outcomes.

Online literacy and numeracy tests

Students will need to pass online reading, writing and numeracy tests to demonstrate achievement of the minimum standard. These tests will be available for students to sit in Year 10, Year 11, Year 12. Students with Band 8 - Year 9 NAPLAN results will not need to sit the online tests. They have demonstrated they exceed the minimum standard.

The IEU challenges the linkage between Year 9 NAPLAN results and the attainment of an HSC and is seeking (as a minimum) that the proposal be delayed until 2018.