STUDENT results in the national literacy and numeracy tests will be delayed for about one month after an error was discovered in the printed reports.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority was in the process of sending individual student reports to schools for distribution to parents from next week.
But parents will not receive their child’s reports until mid-October after a production error saw the national average placed in the wrong spot on the results for the language conventions test in years 5 and 7, which tests spelling, grammar and punctuation.
ACARA chief executive Rob Randall said there were no problems with the test results for NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy And Numeracy) and the national results will be released next week as planned.
But with the autumn school holidays about to start, the student reports for parents will not be available until the week of October 13.
Mr Randall said individual student results were correct and the error was only in the background sheet on which the results are printed in relation to other measures, which meant some students would have been incorrectly placed as above or below the national mean.
Mr Randall said the error was in the quality assurance process of the reports and while the calculation of the national mean was correct, an error was made in drawing and checking the graph.
“Some parents would have got the wrong impression. We’ve chosen to reprint the reports to make sure there’s no further errors,” he said.
“These are important reports to parents and the integrity of the reports is more important than anything else right now.”
NAPLAN tests students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 every year on reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy.
Although the tests are conducted in May, the results are not provided to parents until at least September, negating their effectiveness as diagnostic tests to pinpoint learning difficulties students might have.
While the tests are unpopular with many teachers, particularly the reporting of school results on the MySchool website, both the Labor and Coalition parties are committed to the tests.
But the Coalition has foreshadowed a review of the publication of results on MySchool and also promised to shorten the time it takes to release NAPLAN results to 12 weeks.