Education Ministers Meeting – Communique – NAPLAN Update

10 February 2023


Since 2019 Education Ministers have been considering a range of changes to NAPLAN and ACARA has been working on implementation plans for those changes. These changes include bringing forward the testing. From this year, tests will be undertaken in March instead of May.

Updates confirmed by Education Ministers today mean that the report parents and teachers receive will be easier to read and will provide clearer information about how a student is progressing.

Now that the tests are undertaken fully online, reporting can be done earlier in the year with parents and schools scheduled to receive individualised reports in July 2023. Benchmarks will be more meaningful and clearer to reflect the personalised online tests that students undertake. They will be set against a challenging but reasonable standard of literacy and numeracy expected for the child at the time of testing.

Ministers agreed in 2019 through the National School Reform Agreement to introduce proficiency standards for numeracy and literacy assessed by NAPLAN.

These new standards will give teachers and parents better information about what a student can do. The names of the new standards are based on advice from ACARA’s First Nations Australians Advisory Group and parent bodies. They are Exceeding, Strong, Developing and Needs additional support. These will be accompanied by detailed descriptions that are useful for teachers and families. The descriptions will be developed by a panel of teachers. They will simplify reporting, replacing the current 10 NAPLAN bands and national minimum standard, allowing parents and carers to know at-a-glance whether their child is where they need to be in literacy and numeracy, which are skills that underpin all other learning.

These will provide parents and schools with easy to read information about what they mean for a student’s strength in literacy and numeracy. The statistical benchmarks for the new categories of achievement will also be confirmed by teachers with relevant experience.

These updates to NAPLAN mean that students who need it can get more targeted support from teachers and parents, recognising that NAPLAN is only one of many ways in which schools track student progress.

Ministers also agreed that individual jurisdictions could work with ACARA on the feasibility of comparative or research studies utilising data from previous time series.

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