Following a meeting of Australia’s education ministers, the national online rollout of NAPLAN has been postponed until 2021, after connectivity issues and computer glitches impacted numerous students who took the test online earlier this year.
All schools were due to make the transition to NAPLAN online in 2020, following a trial period of the online platform. However, after an Education Council meeting on 28 June 2019, state and territory education ministers decided to extend the current plan for schools to transition to NAPLAN Online by an extra year.
There will be further consideration of the transition arrangements once the review into connectivity issues has been completed. Problems with the firewall was raised as a possible reason for the connectivity issues this year.
“The technological problems schools encountered this year accessing the online platform were disruptive, distressing for some and unacceptable given the amount of time we have been transitioning to date, with around 40,000 students affected on the day,” commented WA Minster for Education and Training, Sue Ellery.
Ministers also agreed that due to the issues faced with NAPLAN 2019, the reporting of 2019 results will also need to be addressed.
NAPLAN 2019 assessments involved approximately 50 per cent of students completing the assessment online. Around 2.17 million NAPLAN online tests were conducted nationwide in 2019.
A comprehensive review of NAPLAN will now be undertaken by the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments.
“It is not only timely but common sense that we hold an Australia-wide review, and the states and territories are frustrated that we cannot get the Federal Government to agree to one,” said Queensland Minister for Education and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace.
“We will always need a standardised test to examine how we’re tracking as an education system, but we need to consider what form that takes to get the best results for our students.”