Special Needs – NAPLAN

SAASSO - NAPLAN Special Needs Bulletin

Update: 27/3/15

In March 2015, SAASSO received correspondence from Minister Close stating that, ‘schools have the necessary resources’ and that principals understand their responsibilities to provide assistance to special needs students to sit NAPLAN.


With 2014’s NAPLAN tests approaching, parents contacted SAASSO unhappy that special needs children receive no help to sit the tests – and instead were encouraged to withdraw from NAPLAN.

Special needs children are, in fact, allowed assistance – the Disability Standards for Education (2005) guaranteeing that children with disabilities have equal opportunity to sit the national tests.

SAASSO issued a bulletin in May 2014, explaining the rights of children with special needs to help, to participate in NAPLAN.

SAASSO subsequently heard from parents that, despite the bulletin, multiple schools still were not providing assistance mandated by the National Protocols.

SAASSO wrote to Education Minister Rankine on August 15, informing her of the situation and requesting steps be taken to ensure all special needs children are afforded their rights for the 2015 tests.

While yet to hear from the Minister, an email from an aide stated that DECD had been asked to investigate.

In a follow-up letter to Minister Rankine, SAASSO asked for confirmation that South Australia’s public schools are specifically funded to cover the costs of assisting special needs students to sit NAPLAN.

We await a response from Minister Rankine….

“It is not acceptable to exert influence on parents to withdraw their children from testing” [National Protocols – Code of Conduct]


SAASSO Letter 1 – 15.08.14
SAASSO Letter 2 – 19.9.14
Minister’s Reply – 20.10.14
SAASSO - Minister Letter NAPLAN Special Needs August '14 SAASSO - Minister Letter 2 NAPLAN Special Needs September '14 Minister Reply NAPLAN Special Needs 20.10.14


“Failure to read or be aware of these protocols and documents is not a valid reason for breaching protocols” [National Protocols – Code of Conduct]


National Protocols for Test Administration
Disability Adjustment Scenarios
Disability Standards for Education
 D14_658__UPDATED_FINAL_2014_National_Protocols_for_Test_Administration Disability-Adjustments-Scenarios-_-NAP  disability standards for education 2005

Published: 12/11/14