Union lifts ban on NAPLAN online
THE Queensland Teachers' Union has backflipped on its push to ban online testing for NAPLAN, with its president claiming "safety measures" were now in place.
Kevin Bates said Education Minister Grace Grace had ensured those schools that moved towards online testing would not be disadvantaged.
The union, which has openly opposed NAPLAN for years, raised concerns about whether technology was consistent between schools and the possibility that online tests could crash.
It moved to ban online testing last year, encouraging members to even avoid attending NAPLAN online information training sessions.
"We're willing to let it go ahead because we've built in some safety measures for schools," Mr Bates said.
The decision comes after the QTU executive received a report regarding the outcomes of the 2018 Queensland NAPLAN review and the Government's response.
The executive felt satisfied that the conditions established by the QTU State Council in August last year had been met.
"For us, we needed a review," Mr Bates said. "The results of that still haven't been released.
"Second, we needed some guarantee that if schools in Queensland moved to online, they wouldn't be worse off.
"Finally, we needed a commitment from the State Government that they were going to act on issues raised in the report once it was released."
The review is expected to be released in coming weeks.
However, Mr Bates said concerns continued, particularly for regional, rural and remote schools, where communities experienced connectivity issues.
"Our general concern is we (QTU) don't like NAPLAN," he said. "We see NAPLAN has run its course - it was 10 years old last year."
Ms Grace said she welcomed the union's lifting of the ban.
"We have always taken a cautious approach to NAPLAN online," she said. "We will continue to work with schools on their readiness to participate in NAPLAN online.
"We will continue to work with stakeholders on issues of comparability between online and paper-based results to ensure no school is disadvantaged by the testing method chosen."
According to the QTU's website, no schools should feel pressured to move towards online testing.