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Federal Government propose standardised testing for Year 1

A Government-appointed panel has recommended children as young as five-years-old should undergo literacy and numeracy testing.

The panel was appointed by Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, and investigated options for Year 1 screening.

The assessment would be conducted in term three as a one-on-one interview with a teacher as well as proposed tests which would be much less formal than NAPLAN.


The Education Minister is hopeful the Government will secure the support of state and territory leaders.

“We’re trying to apply the best practice across the country, and recognise all of the teachers doing great work,” he said.

“We’ve already taken this report to state and territory ministers and we’ll be having a proper briefing later this year about what exactly can be done.”

However, Queensland Education Minister, Kate Jones, blasted the proposal and said states and territories have already rejected the tests.

“No parent wants more exams for their children,” she said.

“Queensland schools already assess students’ readiness for school and their progress through prep and year one.

“We know from Queensland NAPLAN results that children in the early years are better prepared for school than ever.”

Panel chair Jennifer Buckingham from the Centre for Independent Studies told the ABC she’s open to the idea, but testing needed to be age-appropriate.

“Children of that age aren’t necessarily familiar at that point with doing formal types of assessment,” she said.

“A one-on-one assessment between the teacher and the child allows you to have an oral assessment, so you’re not relying on handwriting, for example.”