Comprehensive national review of NAPLAN needed: Minister

QUEENSLAND has released the findings of a first-of-its-kind state-wide evaluation of NAPLAN and called on the Federal Government to commit to a comprehensive national review.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government’s evaluation identified that NAPLAN had played a role in supporting improvements in Queensland’s educational outcomes.

However, Ms Grace said many parents reported that testing caused anxiety and stress for their child, while educators also expressed concern at the growing amount of time it takes to prepare for the test.


“There were a range of unintended consequences stemming from the now high-stakes nature of the testing and there were differing expectations about the purpose of NAPLAN,” Ms Grace said.

“Educators expressed concern about teaching being tailored to NAPLAN, resulting in a narrowing of the curriculum, and that NAPLAN data was being misinterpreted as the sole indicator of a school’s performance.”

Phase one of the state-wide evaluation received feedback from more than 7,500 parents and carers and 3,000 students, representing a total response rate of around 80 per cent of all schools.

Phase two, undertaken by the Australian Catholic University, saw feedback from 5,800 teachers and principals, and 200 education stakeholders.

Ms Grace said she wanted to make sure NAPLAN achieved the right balance, with the information gained from NAPLAN used for the right purpose while addressing any unintended consequences.

“To achieve this, we will be incorporating these findings into a communications strategy for parents and schools about NAPLAN,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is developing an online resource for parents and will provide clear guidance to schools about NAPLAN’s place in our education system.

“I again call on the Morrison Government to listen to all states and territories; listen to parents and students; listen to teachers and commit to a national review.”

You can view the review reports and the government’s response, here.