ACARA news, May 2018

NAPLAN 2018 begins for over a million students

15 May 2018

The annual NAPLAN assessments have commenced today, with over a million students taking the tests across Australia. For the first time, some students are taking NAPLAN in its new online format – nearly 20 per cent of students across six states and territories.

NAPLAN is the only national assessment all Australian children undertake (four times across seven years of schooling in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9). The data gained from NAPLAN have proven value; these are the only national set of education data available in Australia, which inform decisions about improving learning for all young students.

For parents, NAPLAN is an important tool to see how their child is doing in the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy, compared with the rest of Australia’s children. It supports conversations between parents, teachers and schools on working together to help children achieve their full potential.

ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, said no extra preparation is required for NAPLAN.

“What children learn in the classroom through the teaching of the Australian Curriculum is what NAPLAN assesses. As with any test in life, some students may feel anxious about NAPLAN. Children should be reminded that it’s not a big deal, that it’s a short assessment taken only four times during their schooling.”

Mr Randall said the biggest change to NAPLAN, in both the design and delivery of the assessments, and the way in which results are reported, is the move online.

“NAPLAN Online offers benefits for students and teachers, including more precise results and detailed information for teachers, and a more engaging experience for students. Faster turnaround of information and results will better support teaching interventions and inform decisions about learning.“

The transition online is planned to take three years, ensuring that school authorities, schools, teachers and students are all ready to make the move online. Both paper-based and online tests will assess students on the same curriculum content, with all results placed on the same NAPLAN assessment scale. This means both modes of testing will measure the same literacy and numeracy skills and offer comparable test results."

Schools and students moving online in 2018 have undertaken readiness and preparedness activities, including a successful practice test. Education authorities have detailed procedures in place to manage any issues that may arise, to ensure students and teachers are supported through NAPLAN in 2018.

* The test window for NAPLAN Online is extended from three days provided for the paper test to nine days, to give schools more flexibility in scheduling and to accommodate schools that may have fewer devices. The NAPLAN Online test window starts on Tuesday 15 May and finishes on Friday 25 May.

A strict embargo on all NAPLAN test material remains in place until one week after the final assessments (1 June 2018) to allow for catch-up assessments to take place.

NAPLAN 2018: Open letter to teachers

11 May 2018

Read an open letter from ACARA CEO, Robert Randall, to teachers in the lead-up to NAPLAN 2018 (PDF 134 kb).

ACARA CEO: NAPLAN is the faster, better and smarter future for our kids

10 May 2018
Read an article by Mr Rob Randall, ACARA CEO (PDF 67 kb), published today in The Advertiser and The Daily Telegraph