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‘I’m pulling her out’: parents ditch NAPLAN as glitches continue

“How can that be a valid comparison? I’m pulling her out of the tests, she’s at home today and she’s not doing the test tomorrow.”


Ms Marks said she knew of other parents, including her sister, who were also opting to remove their children from the rest of the tests after the first day’s debacle.

Ms Mitchell said about 400 NSW schools have so far been affected as problems plaguing the online tests continue, and that education ministers from across the country will meet in June to discuss what to do about the issues.

“I’m not happy … [education ministers] need to sit down and have a serious conversation, firstly about what happened, how we use the data from this year’s testing, and the impact it has had on the kids, and where we go from here in terms of things being online,” Ms Mitchell told 2GB‘ on Thursday.

“The latest information is that yesterday there were 300 schools [affected], I’m told it’s now 400.

“There were more incidents that occurred yesterday and I’m getting more updates today, they are still happening, [although] it appears at less of a rate than at the beginning of the week.”

Chris Presland, the head of the NSW secondary principals’ council, raised concerns about ACARA’s communications regarding the extent of the problem and said official information released to principals by education authorities is “an absolute fabrication of facts”.

'I'm not happy': NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she and her state and territory counterparts will discuss what to do with this year's results and the future of online testing.

‘I’m not happy’: NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she and her state and territory counterparts will discuss what to do with this year’s results and the future of online testing.Credit:Nick Moir

“We were told on the first day that only 70 [NSW] schools were affected and by that stage, we were already getting inundated with complaints,” Mr Presland said.

“ACARA have kept the message going that only a small portion of schools are affected. The key question here is what are they basing their claims on?”


ACARA said in a statement on Wednesday: “Overall feedback is that online testing has proceeded smoothly, with few connectivity issues experienced.”

An estimated 10 per cent of all Victorian schools doing NAPLAN online and one-third of Western Australian students using the platform experienced problems.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said education authorities will meet on Thursday to decide whether students affected by the glitches would be given the chance to re-sit the assessments.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan defended the NAPLAN online tests on Thursday.

“There are procedures in place to manage issues and tests can be paused, resumed and rescheduled so that all students have the opportunity to complete NAPLAN testing,” Mr Tehan said.

However, Labor’s deputy leader and education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek slammed the government’s handling of the rollout.

“They have stuffed up NAPLAN online, meaning that thousands of kids around Australia are stressed, teachers are stressed,” Ms Plibersek said.

About 50 per cent of Australian schools attempted to move to NAPLAN online this year and all schools are expected to go online next year, according to ACARA’s timeline, which principals and teachers say is “totally unreasonable”.

Travis Fuller, whose daughter is also in year 5 at the northern beaches public school and experienced glitches throughout the test, said he is concerned about the effect this year’s NAPLAN results will have on his daughter’s application to a private high school next year.

“It’s very much something they look at and we’re definitely quite concerned about that,” Mr Fuller said. “When a test is so ingrained in the education system, it should be run properly.”

Education reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald

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