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These are monthly newsletters aimed at keeping schools informed about processes and procedures for the administration, marking and reporting of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy tests for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

In this edition:

Key dates for April

  • 20 April: Closing date for schools to submit applications for the use of a scribe, electronic format (interactive PDF) or assistive technology.
  • 16 April to 27 April: Delivery of the 2018 NAPLAN test materials.

Delivery of test materials

Test materials will begin arriving in schools from the start of Term 2. The test materials for schools in remote areas will be despatched first with other areas to follow progressively. Memo 023/18 has more information about delivery of test materials.

Schools will receive an email advising that their test materials have been lodged with Australia Post. You will be able to track the progress of your materials on the Australia Post website using the consignment number.

Please check with your local post office if you do not receive your test materials by Friday 27 April.

Acknowledging receipt of test materials

As soon as possible after delivery of the test materials, principals (or delegates) should log in to the QCAA NAPLAN Portal to acknowledge receipt of materials and, if necessary, request additional test materials. Page 2 of memo 023/18 explains how to confirm receipt of test materials.

On test days, if you have insufficient Type 1 (named) testbooks then you should use the allocated spare Type 2 (unnamed) testbooks. If there are still insufficient testbooks, please phone QCAA on 3120 6113.

Security of test materials

We appreciate your support in maintaining the security of the test materials. All NAPLAN materials must be kept in secure storage. If the seals of the tamper-evident bags have been broken at any time in the days before the tests, please notify the QCAA immediately at or on 3120 6113.

Test protocols

Please be aware of the protocols in the Handbook for principals 2018 (for paper-based tests) and the Handbook for principals – NAPLAN online 2018 (for online tests).All teachers involved in test administration and in preparing students for the tests should now have a copy.

The Test administration handbook for teachers 2018 (for paper-based tests) and the NAPLAN Online Test administration handbook for teachers (for online tests) in each year level contain all the instructions needed to administer each test. They are also delivered with the test materials (for paper-based tests) and should be distributed to all test administrators who must familiarise themselves with the procedures. For online tests these will be provided in a separate delivery.

Media visits

Schools are advised to ensure that media representatives are not allowed into classrooms during testing. Photographs must not be taken while the tests are being administered or show this year’s test materials. Students need to be able to sit the tests without distraction.

It is also the principal’s responsibility to ensure the security of the tests. Schools should be mindful of all communications, including newsletters and social media, to uphold security. The Handbook for principals 2018 (page 5) and the Handbook for principals – NAPLAN online 2018 (page 7) state that Principals (and their teaching staff) are not permitted to upload NAPLAN tests to any website, intranet site or equivalent media and are not permitted to provide NAPLAN tests to parents/carers or members of the wider community, including the media, even after the test security period has ended.

Parent information

The National protocols for test administration outline the need for key aspects of the NAPLAN program to be communicated to parents/carers. Useful materials for this important stakeholder group can be found on the ACARA website.

Preparing students for NAPLAN

Teachers are reminded that there is a Test preparation section on the QCAA website that contains practice items for all year levels covering Language conventions, Reading, Numeracy and Writing.

The Handbook for principals 2018 (page 15) states that It is important that teachers ensure that students, while taking the NAPLAN tests seriously, are not overwhelmed by the experience. Students should be familiar with the test format and response types, but excessive practice is not recommended. A similar message is provided in the Handbook for principals – NAPLAN online 2018 (page 17).

Disability adjustments

Adjustments are intended to enable students with disability to access NAPLAN tests on an equivalent basis to students without disabilities. Not all students with disability or medical conditions will necessarily require adjustments to access NAPLAN.

Some adjustments require approval by the QCAA to ensure alignment with the test protocols, or to ensure adequate time for the preparation and delivery of alternative format materials. Other disability adjustments are school approved and do not require QCAA approval.

Before applying for disability adjustments

Principals should consult with specialists, appropriate school staff and parents/caregivers to identify students who require disability adjustments for the purposes of accessing NAPLAN tests.

All adjustments must be recorded in the Record of adjustments form located in the Test administration section of the NAPLAN Portal.

Alternative formats

Schools have previously been reminded of the requirement to order alternative format materials by 23 February 2018 to allow for their preparation and despatch. Alternative format applications have been processed and email notifications sent to school principals. Those alternative format materials ordered are being printed and sent to the QCAA contractor now for despatch to schools. Schools should receive these materials after receipt of other test materials and before Friday 4 May.

See QCAA’s archived March issue of the NAPLAN e-newsletter for details regarding disability adjustments due on Friday 20 April 2018.

Electronic format (interactive PDF) and assistive technology (use of a computer)

This year there have been changes to the electronic format (interactive PDF) and assistive technology (use of computer) processes.

One week before the tests, the interactive PDFs will be released directly to schools that have been approved to use them. Schools will need their BIC and password to access the NAPLAN Portal and download the files to the school network. On the day of the tests, relevant passwords will be available in the portal so schools can open the files on student devices.

Assistive technology (use of computer) templates will be provided for the Writing test only as it has been found that students prefer reverting to shading bubbles in the other test books. Details about how to access and return the templates have been emailed to schools that have been approved to use them.

Temporary injury

If students suffer a temporary injury that affects their dominant hand or arm, schools may grant the use of assistive technology (use of a computer) templates for the Writing test. Assistive technology templates will be provided in the Test administration section in the NAPLAN Portal. Note that a scribe is not permitted. The principal must complete and submit the form, Temporary injury – notice of use of assistive technology for the Writing test, located in the Test administration section in the NAPLAN Portal by the close of business on Tuesday 22 May.

If the student is unable to complete the Writing test using either pencil and paper or assistive technology (use of a computer) template, they must be marked absent from this test. When the student is also unable to shade in bubbles due to their temporary injury, the principal can appoint a NAPLAN support person for the Language conventions, Reading and Numeracy tests. Section 14.5 in the Handbook for principals has more information.

Last updated: 18 April 2018

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