NAPLAN Inquiry


Tell us what you think of NAPLAN


*We may not be able to publish all comments and we may edit some comments to ensure their suitability for publishing.



  1. With all the genuine deficits in our public school system why are we wasting time (and money no doubt) on an inquiry into NAPLAN? An inquiry into spelling tests in school? How ridiculous! Tests always have been and always will be part of life. In my children’s school, the only people upset by tests are the teachers. And they make sure everybody knows it.

    Comment by J. Robertson — May 29, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

  2. My daughter’s school pressures parents not to send their children to school on NAPLAN days if they are deemed “not up to it”. These are the children who need extra support and help but instead our public school tries to fool the government into thinking they don’t exist. With that sort of intelligence running our schools maybe it shouldn’t be the children we are testing.

    Comment by M.J. — May 31, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

  3. The NAPLAN tests were great for our daughter. Our daughter was struggling in our local school. For two years her teachers labelled her lazy and inattentive and her report cards were always poor. We were always working with her at home and she always did her homework but her grades didn’t improve. Then when we got her year 5 NAPLAN results and they were excellent. It turned out there was nothing wrong with her ability the teacher just didn’t like her. We asked other parents in her class and found out this was common for this teacher. We went to the principal who did nothing. Finally we took her out of this school and put her in a Catholic school. She has blossomed. She is the same girl she always was (only much more confident now), but now her teachers rave about her attitude and she is suddenly much ‘smarter’ and has report cards that match her NAPLAN results. If it wasn’t for NAPLAN, we would have believed what our daughter’s public school teacher said about her and she would have been destined for failure.

    Comment by Jackie — May 31, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  4. I was not impressed when my daughter brought home a photocopied practice sheet of a naplan for homework. why should they need to practice for this test. Both my kids are dyslexic but the school they attend does not make any allowance for this and it is a known fact that other parents have been advised that it is best if the child doesnt do the test and have an exemption.
    At the end of the day Naplan doesnt make a difference within the school environment. The Principal just wants the school to look like its achieving and not slipping with kids like mine.

    Comment by Andy — May 31, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

  5. For our first child we loved NAPLAN, because his results were excellent, and it reinforced that he was intelligent. His grades never really reflected his intelligence as his relations with his teachers was not great. For bright kids it is a confidence boost.
    However our second son has Dyslexia, and NAPLAN does nothing for him. It is not as though the department gets the results and says ‘look this child needs additional assistance’. Our school gives NO additional support for my son.
    I have an email from his teacher advising that as Dyslexia is a learning difficulty and not a disability, he is not supported by the department. “The Department does not support Learning Difficulties”. This statement just makes me want to cry, what is the department there for if it cannot support learning difficulties.
    Another trick our schools does to improve results in NAPLAN is ask some children not to do the test.
    Also NAPLAN results are to slow also.

    Comment by Virginia Summers — May 31, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

  6. Well said jackie. NAPLAN can reveal as much about the teacher as it does about the child.

    Comment by Kate V. — May 31, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

  7. Kate V – that may explain why the teacher’s union opposes NAPLAN.

    My year 3 son doesn’t read the newspaper or watch the news and he isn’t surfing the internet for the latest opinion piece on standardised testing. Children aren’t ‘stressed’ by NAPLAN. School children take tests and do assignments all the time. To suggest that the word NAPLAN strikes fear into a child’s heart is ridiculous. It’s forgotten 2 minutes after the test is over; which is when the worrying starts for the teacher.

    The schools are hyping up NAPLAN and using our children as the excuse. We parents aren’t overreacting either. NAPLAN is an interesting exercise and I was pleased with my son’s results last year. But I know that it is just one test. It showed where he was strong, which we already knew, but also exposed an area he needs development, which we and his teacher didn’t know. Now we can watch this area.

    Comment by Rob C — May 31, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

  8. I think we need to help our children get used to tests. It will help them learn skills for future years when they will have to do exams. It also helps show them that their education is important. To gradually ease them into situations like this is better than throwing them in the deep end in later years.

    Comment by Angie J — June 1, 2013 @ 7:11 am

  9. NAPLAN has been of use in that it has forced the government to stop claiming our schools are delivering a good standard of education. As a parent I’ve seen my children unable to grasp basics of grammar. As an employer I see young people coming through who can’t preform basic math in their heads. They are fundamentally useful in a work environment. Naplan has shown the continued decline here in SA.
    But as satisfying as it is to have the department forced to acknowledge their own poor performance (though I’m sure they blame the parents) what has it accomplished? Every year South AUstralia’s NAPLAN scores decline while other states improve. We have had Naplan for six years and we are six years worse off.
    If the government gets rid of Naplan then they can go back to hiding the truth and pretending they are educating our children but what use are the facts if the government isn’t going to make our schools face the facts?
    Its time to make our teachers and school principals accountable, just like everyone else is!

    Comment by Kerry P. — June 1, 2013 @ 7:57 am

  10. its once a year every 2 years! Kids spend more time than this at the dentist and we don’t stop that because they don’t like it.

    Comment by Robin S. — June 1, 2013 @ 8:14 am

  11. I think there are limitations to NAPLAN’s use. These tests have been blown out of proportion and elements of the teaching fraternity must accept responsibility for this. Their motives are clearly to protect themselves from scrutiny. NAPLAN is a snapshot and should therefore be considered carefully. However, parents cannot be blamed for over-focussing in NAPLAN if it is the only meaningful assessment they receive for their children.
    When my children were going through school I regularly attended parent teacher interviews and received report cards that gave me a pretty clear understanding of the skill level and development of my children. I have recently become involved in my grandson’s education and things have changed. The report cards tell me nothing and trying to speak to his teachers as been a waste of time. I interpreted his latest report as showing a problem in maths. When I tried to speak to his teacher to develop a plan where we could both work on this area the teacher wasn’t clear on what they had put in their own report and definitely wasn’t interested in discussing the problem or developing any plan to improve my grandson’s skills.

    Comment by Martin Ellis — June 1, 2013 @ 8:22 am

  12. everything else in education is subjective, so what is wrong with one objective test? Not once a year but once every two years. Our children are entering a competitive world and as a responsible parent I want to know my childs strengths and his weaknesses. How else am I going to know where he needs help?

    Comment by K Bamford — June 1, 2013 @ 8:46 am

  13. ‘Kerry P’ you hit it on the head. This is why we are having this waste of time inquiry because teachers and principals don’t want to be accountable. They seem to think they are special and should get jobs for life and be not be answerable to anyone if they fail. You can be damn sure if a bus driver had ten accidents they would be hauled off the job. But if a teacher has ten children fail its the childrens fault. ANd now they want to stop the tests so we parents wont even know they have failed until it is too late and someone elses problem.

    Comment by Sally — June 1, 2013 @ 9:06 am

  14. If they get rid of NAPLAN, teachers will have to learn to spell.

    Comment by S. Thompson — June 1, 2013 @ 9:23 am

  15. Im all for the national tests. It shows me how my child is learning and how my school is performing. If it is slipping we should all know not just senior people in the government. BUt why does it take so long for the results to come out? Its nearly a whole school year we have to wait. By the time the results come out things might have changed. Its also a poor tool for the students. My year 3 daughter had forgotten about the tests when we sat down to talk about how she did! and how can the teacher use the results of the test to help my child when they come out at the end of the year?

    Comment by R. Cahill — June 1, 2013 @ 9:52 am

  16. My kids school makes them study for the tests for 2 weeks! I want to know how muy child really rates now how well they can cram for a test and then forget it! I complained to the school and was told it is department policy! naplan was supposed to be about us parents seeing how out children are learning but now its all about the teachers trying to look good.

    Comment by Craig — June 1, 2013 @ 10:15 am

  17. There is too much pressure from our education department and government to be seen to be focussing on literacy and numeracy. Teachers have aright to look out for their own careers and if students get poor NAPLAN scores it effects their jobs!

    Comment by nate — June 1, 2013 @ 11:03 am

  18. NAPLAN is a half formed idea. There’s no plan to do anything with the data. Parents get a report sure but what happens with the information? Schools get their data and its put on the myschool website but nothing changes. Schools are ready with denials and excuses and we parents are left wondering what we are supposed to do.

    Comment by No Plan — June 1, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

  19. These tests are not a true reflection of how our students are performing. Too many children don’t sit the tests, so its only the average of those kids the schools let sit the NAPLAN.

    Comment by Lou — June 1, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  20. 7 days consultation. This is just an exercise or should I say an excuse. The government has obviously made up its mind on NAPLAN. Why do they pretend they want the opinion of parents?

    Comment by Jenny Bulter — June 1, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

  21. NAPLAN should be used to see how well children are learning the national curriculum. Instead schools are teaching the national tests, so why do we need a national curriculum?

    Comment by Kristy — June 1, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  22. A couple of months til an election and there is a rushed inquiry into NAPLAN. Looks like someone needs the support of the teacher union. If you were really concerned about our children do an inquiry into why their skills are sliding rather than looking at the tests! We already know there are problems. We don’t need more tests and an inquiry into those tests. For our childrens sake please focus on what matters not on what makes the papers!

    Comment by Anonymous — June 1, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  23. The tests themselves need to be open to scrutiny. Are the standards at a level that will serve these kids in the real world?

    Comment by dave — June 1, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

  24. Whats with all this outcry about teaching the test? If NAPLAN tests our kids basic skills, and these skills are slipping, then isn’t teaching the test just teaching the basics that we need them to learn? Maybe we should spend a bit more time getting back to every student learning the same basic skills before everyone goes off in their own direction.

    Comment by Jim — June 1, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

  25. How about an federal inquiry into how the sa labour government ministers like rankine portolesi and weatherill keep letting our children get raped in school?

    Comment by Sharon C — June 1, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

  26. Too much focus on NAPLAN.

    Comment by Sally — June 1, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

  27. NAPLAN is the ONE bit of accountability in public schools and now the government wants to stop it?

    Comment by Tony — June 1, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

  28. What is the point of NAPLAN when the TEACHERS cheat? What has happened when children are supposedly stressing over tests and downloading practice tests and the teachers just cheat? Did anyone get fired or are they all on ‘stress leave’?

    Comment by Kaitlin from Magill — June 1, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  29. Teachers tell children that tests are an opportunity to show what they know. Why don’t teachers take the same attitude about naplan?

    Comment by Daryl of alberton — June 1, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  30. Hear Hear Martin Ellis. If teachers don’t want parents to focus on NAPLAN, then give us something else, like genuine feedback on our children.

    Comment by Con — June 2, 2013 @ 8:35 am

  31. On top off everything else teachers don’t have time to spend hours dealing with every parent of every student!

    Comment by EJ — June 2, 2013 @ 9:26 am

  32. Classes have never been smaller so how can teachers claim they don’t have the time?

    Comment by Amanda from Adelaide — June 2, 2013 @ 10:25 am

  33. NAPLAN is fine. Now if we can just do something about the results. Maybe if the government diverted some of the money its spending on those TV ads into our schools?

    Comment by Emma — June 2, 2013 @ 11:32 am

  34. Well said Jim! When did consistency become such a bad thing? Don’t we want all children to spell words the same? Shouldn’t 8 x 8 equal the same no matter which school you go to? In my kids school the curriculum changes depending on which teacher you get! Why is this? No matter what class your child is in parents should be confident that their children will all learn the same important skills and get the same knowledge. Instead you have 11 year olds who still don’t know their times tables.

    Comment by annaliese — June 2, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

  35. Why is NAPLAN only in 4 grades out of 12 years of school? I want to know how my child is doing every year.

    Comment by Erin — June 2, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

  36. When my daughter was in Year 3 we got her naplan results and went to her year 4 teacher and worked together to improve her maths skills. Her Year 6 teacher dismissed the test and us as pointless. Parents can understand naplan is a snapshot but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile. It doesn’t replace informed teacher feedback. Teachers from the same school acting very different. It’s just the luck of the draw because the principal makes it clear there is nothing he can do about it.
    Where does this arrogance come from?

    Comment by David Wayne — June 2, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  37. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. We used to do a ten question math test every morning when I was in primary school. I can’t remember any of my friends being ‘stressed’ over it.

    Comment by Ally — June 2, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  38. NAPLAN was a fine idea but its all been turned around. Results aren’t being used at the individual level to address learning challenges by teachers and parents. They seem to only be used for national comparisons.

    Comment by Brenton — June 2, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  39. OUr school does the absolute minimum for naplan. They encourage parents not to have their children sit the tests then they coerce the kids who wont perform well on the tests to stay home and then they ignore the results. And they claim its all for the children?

    Comment by tom eliot — June 2, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

  40. NAPLAN has achieved its goal. It has uncovered gaps in skills and falling standards. Now what is the government going to do about it? Wasting money on an inquiry isn’t the part of the solution. We need the government to control DECD and start putting our children first! Get the cheating teachers out of the classroom. Get the unskilled teachers out of the classroom. Get the unmotivated teachers out of the classroom. Get consistency in our classrooms and stop wasting money in the bloated education department and put that in the classrooms as well.

    Comment by Perry — June 2, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  41. My school basically bans children with disabilities from the tests. Its not about our children but trying make themselves look good. Why shouldn’t I want to know how well my child is going compared to other children? Parents of disabled children aren’t after babysitting. We want our children to learn Our principal knows nothing about how to educate children with special needs. They are nothing but an inconvenience. Our education department needs a better attitude toward children with disabilities.

    Comment by Alex — June 2, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  42. Have naplan every year. We need more structured learning and assessment. The problem with Australian schools is everything is amout theory. all these theories from academics to justify their paycheques. Individualised learning, critical thinking etc. universities make students do literacy and numeracy tests. High school graduates haven’t mastered the basics … do you want them building bridges.

    The attitude today is that children don’t need to know anything because they can find it on the internet. Do you want your doctor googling your symptoms? Theres a fact sheet on this website saying Australia has the most flexible curriculum in the world! no wonder literacy and numeracy scores are going south. Get back to the basics like the rest of the world.

    Comment by Bob — June 2, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

  43. For NAPLAN improve education there must be a requirement for teachers to report to parents on both the results of the tests and on how they are going to improve any weak areas in a child’s skills. At present the NAPLAN process begins with the test and ends with the results. This is a waste. It is clear in my child’s school (and many others judging from these comments) that many teachers ignore NAPLAN.
    The government needs to mandate a parent / teacher conference once a year to discuss their child’s performance on the tests and addressing its outcomes needs to be incorporated into regular reporting throughout the school year, until the next round of tests.

    Comment by June F — June 2, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  44. Teachers are complaining about all the marking they have to do. Here the government is doing all the work for them. All they have to do is read the results and use them to do their jobs.

    Comment by Scotty — June 2, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  45. I have a child who is a high achiever & who did do well on NAPLAN but she was stressed about it. She was in tears nearly every night in the week before & the week of tests. And part of it was that she sensed the stress of her teacher, who was one of the best teachers she’s ever had. Our teachers are stressed because their reputations are put on the line with this test. Schools are worried because their reputations are held up for judgement based on a score & advertised on a website. However these results do not reflect the socio-economics of the local area, which has been linked to academic results, the culture of the school – obviously NAPLAN creates additional problems for students who have English as a second language, the special needs of the students in that school – are there a high number of children with significant learning problems, or the resources available to the school – financial restrictions do affect the resources each school has access to. NAPLAN does not give an accurate reflection of an individual student, an individual teacher or a school. And it does not adequately assess the national curriculum.

    Comment by Bianca — June 2, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

  46. Great idea June. Make schools use naplan and make them report to parents.

    Comment by Shane — June 2, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

  47. Excellent idea! Schools had to prove they had asked parents to get chaplains grants. Make the same condition for the NAPLAN money! Reports for each NAPLAN student, signed by parents. There’s so much pointless paperwork, lets create some that does some good.

    Comment by B Williams — June 2, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  48. Schools are accountable for their NAPLAN performance! Just like companies. the principal should report on NAPLAN at the AGM and lay out the plans to improve. Parents are the stakeholders of the school and have a right ask questions of.

    Comment by M Ashton — June 2, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

  49. NAPLAN should be part of teachers development. NAPLAN is a unique opportunity for teachers to examine the results of their class and see if it highlights areas for the teacher to work on. It doesn’t have to be an attack on their abilities.

    Comment by Tom — June 2, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

  50. Using class NAPLAN results for teacher development is an excellent idea. 360 surveys are a key part of modern performance management and should be embraced as an opportunity by professionals.

    Comment by David — June 2, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  51. I see a lot of people expressing similar experiences. Let’s hope the politicians don’t use this as an excuse to stop the tests and deny parents this information on their children. Lets see some action from the government to make schools work with parents.

    Comment by Vicky Long — June 3, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

  52. The union wont ever let teachers be answerable for how well they do their jobs. And this hurts teachers coz it keeps teachers who aren’t working well in schools which just makes it even harder for all those good teachers to do their jobs! I guess u cant blame the teachers for looking out for themselves first its the government that are weak. we need a premier that’s going to stand up to the union and say we are putting children first!

    Comment by Nick G — June 3, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

  53. Nick … Weatherill wont stand up to any union. rann tried and look what happened to him. soon as the teachers start calling strikes the government backs down. the only way anything is going to change in SA is if the commonwealth takes over.

    Comment by J. coghlan — June 3, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

  54. If we cancel naplan because some teachers don’t like it we are just giving into hysteria and rewarding negativity. Is this the example we want to set for our children?

    Comment by Mary — June 3, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

  55. Well said Mary. I have great respect for all the wonderful teachers in my school. There are many obstacles to good teaching today and it is a challenging job. I also understand the pressures of being a responsible teacher. BUt this is part of being a modern professional. All jobs of this level come with their own particular stresses. Its not right to deny parents valuable information about their own children in a time when we so desperately need every bit of help we can get. Everyone knows the anti-naplan campaign is about protecting teachers and not the children. We wouldn’t want our children giving up before they even try and we would all be disappointed if they made up excuses not to try. Its almost always the case that it is those complaining few who try to ruin it for everyone else and this is no exception. Lets set the example for our children and stand up to the bullies.

    Comment by Joanne M. — June 3, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  56. When did our children become so soft? A reading and writing test. They aren’t going off to war! They aren’t working in the mines. They are sitting in their air-conditioned classrooms on their ergonomic chairs choosing the right answer from the three wrong ones. For most kids this would be a relief from sitting in the classroom actually learning. And these are test they can’t fail. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We live in a world where every kid on the team gets a trophy for just turning up even if they can’t run from here to there without falling over. Where is the pressure? There is no doubt we have taken most of the pressure out of schools in the last 30 years and what has it gotten them? We’ve gone backwards in every measureable area. we’ve made it so easy to get a high school certificate that the piece of paper has become worthless. Are we really now going to say that our children cant sit at a desk once every two years and answer a series of basic questions with psychologically scarring them??

    Comment by K Mason — June 3, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

  57. If we don’t test children today we are dooming them to fail tomorrow.

    Comment by Pat Drake — June 3, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

  58. god forbid we parents get a clear idea of how are children are going or ever dare ask teachers why they aren’t doing so well.

    Comment by Kevin Critchley — June 3, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

  59. The rest of the country have done something about their unimpressive scores. SA hasn’t improved in five years. Then lets cut the tests. Brilliant idea.

    Comment by Sia — June 3, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  60. Make the tests compulsory. Its ridiculous that this is the one thing you can opt out of just coz the union doesn’t like it. We cant opt out of school fees can we!

    Comment by Dan Linke — June 3, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

  61. In England we have SATS the same as NAPLAN and the children are told its a test to see how well the teachers have taught the subjects, not a test of the children! the children are much less stressed this way!

    Comment by Nicole McDonald — June 4, 2013 @ 11:05 am

  62. Nicole if u said that here teachers would walk off the job!

    Comment by Jim C — June 4, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  63. The school should have to answer for what a child has learned (or not learned). If the child has spent all the time at one school and there is no improvement from one naplan result to the next one (like year 3 to year 5) the school should have to explain to parents why. If the school is doing its job it ought not to take two years to find out there is a problem so naplan should not be a surprise and if it is the school must explain the parents faces why!

    Comment by Jeff — June 4, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  64. Nicole that’s the best way to put an end to this “stress” on the children.

    Comment by Tina Psaris — June 5, 2013 @ 8:31 am

  65. I am a parent who is not sure about NAPLAN. Parent should have access to accurate information on our children’s education. I want feedback directly about my child’s development, but I am interested in (sometimes) seeing how my children are performing compared to other children. I am not sure that NAPLAN is being used in the right way or the way it was originally intended. I think this is causing the drama over the tests.
    I am not pleased with some of our teachers though. There is no doubt (no matter what people claim) that any stress our children are feeling is coming from their teachers. This is wrong. If teachers are fearful that they will be judged by NAPLAN scores they are free to express this. But is absolutely unacceptable to use our children to try to accomplish some personal agenda. They are children. Speak to your fellow teachers. Speak to your union. SPeak to the government, but in front of our children, please act professionally.

    Comment by Susan — June 5, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  66. Use common sense. Private schools do better on NAPLAN because they take it seriously. The parents expect them to.

    Comment by Peter Goh — June 5, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

  67. It’s school. Children get taught and take tests to see what they have learned.

    Comment by Richard sick of excuses — June 5, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  68. It should be up to the parents.

    Comment by Theresa — June 5, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  69. Put the tests online. 5 years and it keeps getting worse so just take the schools out of the whole thing. send the results to parents and let them take show the teachers.

    Comment by Jordan — June 5, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

  70. Well said Jordan. Take the tests out of the schools and see if the kids are still “stressed”.

    Comment by Dan — June 5, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  71. The unintended consequence of naplan is that schools have shown they are more concerned with protecting themselves than with our children. So many people acting so selfishly. Anyone involved in education in knows what a horrible culture there is in DECD – this is another example.

    Comment by S.H. — June 5, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

  72. NAPLAN has been good for my child. Because the results were sent to me I knew more about my son than I ever learnt from his teacher. I had real information to sit down and speak to him about. For the first time we both had a good idea about where he needed help.

    Comment by Sean P — June 5, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  73. In relation comment number 5 above, it makes me incredibly angry that teachers are so ill informed regarding the needs and entitlements of dyslexic children. Dyslexia IS a learning disability and is covered by the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act allowing protection against discrimination for people with different disabilities, including those who learn differently e.g Dyslexia, ADD etc. Virginia – I sincerely hope your child is now receiving the support he deserves and is entitled to.

    Comment by Marie — April 14, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

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