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What is NAPLAN and is it that important?

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

What is NAPLAN?

a banner with some text which says what is naplan and is it even that important? Underneath is a picture of a woman doing a test.

What is NAPLAN you might be wondering? It gets to that time of year and suddenly the upcoming naplan testing is on the news everywhere. NAPLAN is a standardized group of tests that all Australian students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in. NAPLAN is conducted annually in Term 2. The four tests include, reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and mathematics. NAPLAN began in 2008, and has sometimes been somewhat controversial. There are both critics and supporters of the national testing, and parents are often left wondering, how important are my child's scores anyway?

a quote which says " naplan is a standarised group of test that all australian students in grades 3 ,5 7 and 9 are expected to participate in.

What does NAPLAN stand for?

Naplan stands for The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy.

What is the purpose of NAPLAN?

ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) says there are two purposes for conducting the NAPLAN tests: The first is to provide information on how students are performing in order to support improvements in teaching and learning. The second is to give schools and systems the ability to measure their students’ achievements against national minimum standards and compare student performance across states and territories.

Naplan does not guide the allocation of funding and support to students at educational risk and nor does it have any impact on their yearly reports. Schools and teachers do not receive NAPLAN results until the end of Term 3, months after the tests are conducted.

NAPLAN is meant to be used to give standardised information on how the Australian education system is going. It is supposed to tell the nation: are children's achievement levels improving, declining or cruising? NAPLAN can provide information for students overall, and by other categories including gender, language background, Indigenous status, location and parental occupation and education.

2022 NAPLAN dates?

In 2022 NAPLAN will be conducted during May, exams running from the 10th to the 20th, depending on your state and when your school schedules their exams.

Is NAPLAN that important?

Well the short answer is no …. and yes. To the country it is important in that it tells us as whole how our education system is going. Could there be better ways of doing this - yes but that is a topic for another day.

Some people think NAPLAN is important because it creates an element of accountability for educators. While that is true, there are many other factors that create accountability in education. This might not be a reason that it is important to you.

Schools use the data to see what they are doing well, and what learning areas need to be addressed. They then make plans to make sure that every teacher addresses these learning areas of concern. However, classroom teachers do not take much notice of NAPLAN results for individual students. We don't receive the information until the end of Term 3, so the information is old, plus we already know how your child will do, because we teach them every day! We don’t need a standardised assessment to tell us what your child's strengths and weaknesses are.

a quote over a picture of some victorian houses. The quote says it is true that NAPLAN is affecting our lives. Housing in suburbs that contain public school with good naplan scores are skyorcketing in price.

It is true that NAPLAN is affecting our lives. Housing in suburbs that contain public schools with good NAPLAN scores, are skyrocketing in price. How many people do you know, who chose to move to an area based on the MySchools website? I certainly know a few.

Some private schools are asking for NAPLAN results before deciding if they will give a placement. So if you want to move your child to a private school after primary school, this might be a reason why NAPLAN may be important to you.

a quote which says some private schools are asking for naplan results before deciding if they will give a placement.

At the end of the day, we want to know that our children are succeeding and that they are achieving at least the minimum national standard.

If you would like to book in for NAPLAN tuition sessions click here:

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