Bump It Up rethink

Gary Zadkovich
Deputy President

PAT tests not compulsory in Bump It Up schools

Federation has successfully negotiated the resolution of a potential dispute over the use of standardised testing in the Bump It Up (BIU) strategy.

The Department of Education has agreed not to implement its proposal to require all 137 BIU schools to administer Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) for all students in each year from Year 2 to Year 9, in Term 1 and Term 3, in addition to NAPLAN tests.

Acknowledging that this move would have been a significant departure from the settlement of such matters in the 2010 NAPLAN dispute, Federation Council on Saturday February 18 unanimously resolved to oppose it.

School Federation Representatives and principals were emailed to re-affirm the union’s position that “classroom teachers, executives and principals should continue to exercise their professional judgement, through collaborative school-based decision making, on the use of PAT and any other tests”.

In a positive outcome for the quality of public education, the Department confirmed in communication to BIU schools that the use of PAT testing will be optional, not compulsory.

Federation acknowledges the strong support of the state principal organisations in settling this matter.

Literacy and numeracy minimum standard for HSC

Council also called for systemic support for schools to address the implications of the proposed introduction of a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy achievement for the HSC.

The decision emphasised concerns about the current direction of the Department, stating: “As a result of the Department’s growing obsession with using standardised tests and data collection as a substitute for supporting quality teaching and learning, NSW public schooling now faces the prospect of many thousands of students not being awarded an HSC in years to come.”

Federation is pursuing the allocation of Gonski funding at a state level to provide the necessary personnel and resource support, through a targeted program, to assist at-risk students to achieve an HSC.

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