Over the next few days, I have three little NAPLAN stories to share. They come from my years as a school principal.


All principals were called to a meeting, to view one of the endless PowerPoints that has been developed around all manner of educational issues. This one was on preparing students for NAPLAN testing. The presentation went through frame after frame after frame of test questions at particular levels. We were told how classroom teachers might tackle ‘teaching the test’ to students, with the material presented being based on past tests.

At the end of this long presentation the presenter who was an educational guru, told we principals to absolutely prioritise preparation for upcoming NAPLAN tests. Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 teachers needed to set aside all other learning and activities in order to focus on preparing students for tests. The presenter had the imprimatur of the Education CEO to gives us this advice. It was NAPLAN or bust.

I could take no more. I made an appointment to see the CEO and told him what we had been told about his advice. The CEO was not happy about what had been stated on his behalf. He came into our meeting at a later time and told us all to ignore the advice.

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