Parents pulling children out of NAPLAN tests at high rate

PARENTS on the Fraser Coast are pulling their kids out of NAPLAN testing at a higher-than-average nationwide rate.

Australia-wide, the NAPLAN withdrawal rate in Year 5 and Year 9 is 2%, according to the My School website.

But on the Fraser Coast, figures were much higher at some schools, with Aldridge State High School recording a 9% withdrawal rate during the Year 9 NAPLAN tests in 2013.

Maryborough State High School had 4% of Year 9 students withdraw from testing and St Mary's College had 3% withdraw, as did Urangan State High School.

Hervey Bay Christian Academy had 10% of students withdrawn from testing in Year 5 and 10% absent, but in Year 9 100% of students took part in the examination.

In Year 5 at primary schools, 6% of students were withdrawn from NAPLAN testing at Sandy Strait State School, 2% at Xavier Catholic College, 3% at Yarrilee State School, 5% at Torbanlea State School, 8% at St Helens State School, 3% at St James Lutheran College, 9% at Albert State School and 2% at Sunbury State School.

Maryborough mum Liz Davies considered withdrawing her daughter Annika as she had just transferred from another school, but found it was too late.

Ms Davies said the test was stressful for all three of her school-aged children and especially for Annika whose results suffered.

Ms Davies said she had torn up the results in front of Annika to show her they didn't matter.

There were high levels of absenteeism at some Fraser Coast schools during last year's NAPLAN tests as well, with 8% absent at Urangan State High School, 6% absent at Hervey Bay State High School, 8% absent at Aldridge State High School and 5% at Maryborough State High School.

Nationwide, the average number of students absent from NAPLAN exams was 2% in Year 5 and 6% in Year 9.

At Carinity Education - Glendyne, 83% of students participated in testing while 17% were absent.

Fraser Coast private schools showed strong attendance figures, with 97% of Year 9 St Mary's College students participating in testing, 99% of Year 9 Anglican College students sitting the test and 100% of Year 9 St James Lutheran College students taking the NAPLAN tests.

Howard State School and Bauple State School had strong participation with 100% of students taking the exam, while Kawungan State School had 95% of students take the exam and Sunbury State School had 96% participate.

At Maryborough Central State School 11% were absent, 7% at St James Lutheran College and 9% at St Mary's Primary School.

Exempt from testing

Some Fraser Coast schools also had students who were exempt from testing, which were not included in overall participation rates:

  • Year 9 Urangan State High School: 4% exempt from testing
  • Year 9 Aldridge State High School: 5% exempt
  • Year 5: Maryborough West State School: 8% exempt
  • Year 5: Sunbury State School: 4% exempt
  • Year 5: Granville State School: 3% exempt

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