Education Ministers agreed:
- That the writing test would continue to be conducted as a census test;
- that the testing of spelling, grammar and punctuation (Conventions of Language) will be separate from writing as part of the annual census-based standardised assessment program;
- that ACARA would work with jurisdictions to explore the feasibility of shifting of the test as early as possible in the school year and turn around test results in two weeks;
- that the assessments remain in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9;
- in-principle to enabling schools to “opt-in” to assessments in the domains of Science Literacy (including critical and creative thinking), Digital Literacy and Civics and Citizenship annually in Year 6 and Year 10 and request ACARA further develop the proposal for the next meeting;
- that ACARA investigate the feasibility of incorporating critical and creative thinking in English and Mathematics into the existing NAPLAN domains, with advice to be provided to the next Education Ministers’ Meeting;
Ministers also discussed progress on key national reform initiatives including the Unique Student Identifier and the Online Formative Assessment Initiative.
Discussions were also had in relation to teacher workforce issues and the Commonwealth Preschool funding proposals.
Chair of the Education Ministers Meeting (EMM), Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge said that it was a constructive meeting with good progress on key national initiatives.
“NAPLAN has been an important tool to inform teacher practice and give guidance to parents on how their child is progressing. These incremental reforms will enhance these objectives,” Minister Tudge said.
“It will also provide more opportunities for schools to “opt in” to additional assessments in the key subject areas of Science, Civics and Digital Literacy.”