Aussie schools kept open as online tests cancelled due to COVID-19

Education ministers from around the country have decided to bin NAPLAN.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Although schools across the country have been directed to stay open amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) online testing regime has been binned.

"Education ministers met today and decided that NAPLAN will not proceed in 2020," a statement from the Education Council read.

"All education ministers acknowledge and thank all of our school leaders, our teachers, and support staff for the essential work they do every day educating our children and young people, particularly during these challenging times."

The NAPLAN test window was scheduled to be held from May 12-22.

See also: 12 month extension for NAPLAN Online following May 'connectivity issues'

The decision to not proceed with NAPLAN in 2020 also means that the scheduled testing of the NAPLAN Online platform, the Coordinated Practice Test (CPT), will not proceed. It was due to commence on March 23.

"The decision to not proceed with NAPLAN in 2020 has been taken to assist school leaders, teachers, and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, including potential online and remote learning," the statement said.

"Further, the impact of responses to the COVID-19 virus may affect the delivery of NAPLAN testing, including the operation of centralised marking centres and the implications for nationally comparable data if an insufficient number of students are available to do the test."

Australia has now set limits on gatherings, with indoor limits set at 100 persons, and outdoor at 500 persons.

See also: Canberra coughs up AU$2.4b health package to fight COVID-19  

The decision follows the National Cabinet agreeing that "pre-emptive closure of schools are not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time".

Keeping schools open is at the advice of the chief health and medical officers.

"Education departments and systems will continue to closely monitor health advice and work with schools to ensure appropriate support for students and staff as the response to COVID-19 develops," the statement continued.

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