Qld schools fail NAPLAN targets


Queensland schools have failed to reach multiple NAPLAN targets, by up to 17 per cent, renewing calls for the embattled testing to be scrapped.

New data has revealed the Year 9 writing average missed its State Government-imposed target by 12.8 per cent and there was a 17.1 per cent gap in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Year 9 writing results.

The Government has advocated to scrap the controversial testing, as has the powerful Queensland Teachers' Union, but Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has previously blocked the state's attempt to scrap it.

Education Minister Grace Grace told The Courier-Mail the targets were "aspirational" and she made no excuses for setting the highest of standards for Queensland's education system.

But LNP education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie slammed the results, claiming "Labor's failures in education are disadvantaging our kids and their economic futures."

"Reaching just one of 24 targets is a big failure for Annastacia Palaszczuk on education by anyone's measure," he said.

"The LNP will get back to basics in schools and support our teachers with a strong focus on English, maths and science to ensure our kids have the best chance to get a job."

The results were revealed in the Education Department's annual report this week which showed the proportion of Queensland students fell short within 1 per cent of four out of 24 targets.

The Year 7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing target was missed by 10.1 per cent while the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander numeracy target was missed by 9.1 per cent for the same grade.

Homework and NAPLAN biggest cause of student anxiety : New research shows homework loads and the NAPLAN testing are the biggest causes of anxiety for school students. A national survey by online tutoring agency Cluey Learning found one in three students rated homework loads as the biggest cause of anxiety. Further research done with the Australian Primary Schools Association also suggested a spike in primary school students’ stress levels, particularly in grade three students. Much of students’ anxiety is believed to have been driven by teachers who are stressed about achieving the best result for their students. Image: News Corp Australia

Ms Grace said under the LNP in 2014-15, Queensland failed to reach a single NAPLAN target, despite standards being much lower than they are today.

"Since then most of the targets have continually increased, reflecting our improvement in NAPLAN scores," she said.

"The fact is that Queensland has improved in 12 out of 20 NAPLAN indicators since 2015 and remained steady in the others.

"In 2019, Queensland students outperformed the rest of the nation in 9 out of 20 test areas and Queensland Indigenous students were above the national average in all 20 test areas.

"Judging from their record, the LNP think that by sacking teachers, cutting education programs and selling schools it will improve results. It won't."

QTU Kevin Bates president said the discussion shouldn't be about NAPLAN targets.

"Our position is that NAPLAN is not fit for purpose so it shouldn't be an argument about how close or far away the targets should be," he said.

"It's that there shouldn't be targets on NAPLAN.

"Our position is that NAPLAN should go, and that it needs to be replaced by a new system developed by and for teachers that is not about developing data sets that are then suitable for publication that don't actually bear any resemblance to issues that are important in schools and don't support the teaching process."

Originally published as Qld schools fail NAPLAN targets