NAPLAN – participation

Literacy and numeracy are critical elements of learning and it is important to understand how each student is progressing in establishing these foundations. The NAPLAN tests provide valuable information to all schools about the performance of their students, and support the ability of schools to focus teaching on areas of need. The tests also help parents see how their child is progressing against national standards.

See For parents and carers and For schools, along with the NAPLAN national protocols for test administration. Your school principal and your state/territory test administration authority can provide you with more information on adjustments for students with disability or the process required to gain a formal exemption.

Withdrawals are intended to address issues such as religious beliefs and philosophical objections to testing. Participation by all students is expected; however, in certain circumstances students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer. Ultimately, this is a decision for parents/carers but is best done in collaboration with the school. A formal application must be received by the principal prior to the testing. Your principal can provide further information about the withdrawal process, or visit Student participation.

Students who are in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate. A decision to withdraw a student from the NAPLAN tests is the responsibility of the student’s parent/carer, and not the school. We recommend that you discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher or school principal in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with your school’s response, you can contact the test administration authority in your state or territory. Test administration authorities are responsible for the administration of the NAPLAN tests, including withdrawals.

Parents/carers are encouraged to visit Adjustments for students with disability to determine if the adjustments schools can apply for are appropriate for their child’s participation in NAPLAN.

Students who are sick cannot complete NAPLAN at home. Students who are absent on the day of testing may be able to complete catch-up tests if they return to school within the NAPLAN test window. If a student is unable to attend school, they will be counted as absent and will not receive NAPLAN results for any tests they are absent for.

There are comprehensive NAPLAN test administration and security procedures that need to be followed for NAPLAN assessments, and the tests are overseen by teachers to ensure results are comparable. It is not practical to administer a secure test in a home environment in the event that a student is ill.

Students are not allowed to complete tests earlier than the rest of the students in their year level at their school. Schools need to follow the NAPLAN national protocols for test administration.

Students are expected to undertake the tests at the school in which they are enrolled. If a student is away from their regular location (e.g. visiting interstate), it may be possible for the student to be given an opportunity to take the NAPLAN tests in a scheduled test session at a school in the student’s temporary location. Principals are not required to offer a separate or catch-up session for these students. Principals should contact their relevant test administration authority for further information.

Yes, options are available for home-schooled and distance-educated students. Each state/territory test administration authority will determine the appropriate arrangements for testing students who are registered as undertaking non-school-based education.

Schools with students registered in non-school-based locations who are unable to attend a centralised testing location or local school to complete NAPLAN should contact their test administration authority to arrange alternative access.

No, NAPLAN tests can only be sat within Australia.

All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN. A school will, where possible, organise for individual students who are absent at the time of testing to sit the tests at another time during the school’s test schedule.

Schools that are closed for Eid celebrations during testing days and that need to vary their NAPLAN test schedule must request permission from their state or territory test administration authority (TAA). Scheduling options will vary depending on the assessment domain(s). TAAs will advise schools accordingly.

To identify appropriate measures, parents and carers may wish to discuss with their child’s school any concerns regarding their child observing Ramadan and participating in NAPLAN. Schools with Muslim students can schedule NAPLAN tests first thing in the morning to ensure fasting students’ energy levels are at their highest. State or territory test administration authorities are best placed to support schools that require further advice.

We are aware that some schools may ask for NAPLAN reports in addition to school reports as part of their admissions process. NAPLAN assessments are not designed to be a school admission test.

NAPLAN results can assist teachers by providing additional information to support their professional judgement about students’ levels of literacy and numeracy attainment and progress. However, NAPLAN tests are only one aspect of each school’s assessment and reporting process; they do not replace the extensive ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance. Your child’s teacher will have the best insight into your child’s educational progress.