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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 603 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 August 2018 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 16 August 2018


603. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to my earlier question dated 10 April 2018, when I asked the minister whether she would concede that NAPLAN was now no longer a standardised test, to which she replied ''no''. I also refer to the minister's comments in The West Australian, in which she stated that NAPLAN was ''incredibly frustrating'', as she ''found the lack of clarity around reports of possible discrepancies in this year's results''.

(1) Can the minister now concede that the discrepancies in this year's results are due to the test no longer being standardised, and impossible to correlate data in any meaningful way?

(2) Is it now time to scrap NAPLAN, as supported by the State School Teachers' Union of Western Australia?

(3) Why have WA schools not been sent their NAPLAN results?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

To clarify, the article clearly stated the lack of clarity around possible discrepancies in the results was ''incredibly frustrating''. I did not refer to NAPLAN as ''incredibly frustrating''.

(1) The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority has assured states and territories that educational measurement experts have recently verified that all results from NAPLAN 2018, whether a child took the test on paper or online, are valid and reliable. I am waiting for the School Curriculum and Standards Authority's analysis of the Western Australian results, to confirm the integrity of the data that has been provided by ACARA. I am advised that since the answer to this question was drafted, the Western Australian results have come in, and I am expecting an analysis from ACARA very soon.

(2) The McGowan government is committed to standardised and transparent national measuring of student performance, so parents have easily accessible, timely and transparent information available about their child and their school. NAPLAN is important in providing that.

(3) Western Australian schools have not been sent their NAPLAN results because, despite previous assurances provided by ACARA that the results of NAPLAN Online and NAPLAN pen and paper were comparable, states and territories requested further analysis. This additional work has now been completed by ACARA, and WA data was sent to the School Curriculum and Standards Authority yesterday. The authority is now undertaking processes of due diligence and integrity checking of the data.