On 6 May the teachers' union announced that the boycott had been called off because of concessions from the federal government. At first sight the concessions look limp and inadequate.
Thursday 6 May 2010
Teachers win place at table: NAPLAN moratorium lifted
Agreement has been reached between the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard on a process to improve the My School website.
This process involves the establishment of a working party under the auspices of ACARA (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority) as requested by the AEU last week.
Queensland Teachers’ Union President Steve Ryan said union representation through the AEU on this working party was guaranteed.
“The Deputy Prime Minister has finally acknowledged that the teaching profession, through its union representation, deserves a strong voice on issues with profound impact on education in this country – that’s the breakthrough we have been waiting for in this campaign,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said that following extensive negotiations, and after continued pressure from the national teachers’ campaign, the Deputy Prime Minister last night wrote to the AEU proposing that ACARA establish the working party – including AEU involvement – to find ways to improve the My School website, and develop protections against the misuse of student performance data, including simplistic league tables.
“This proposal is a significant shift in the position of the Deputy Prime Minister and has only been achieved by the strong commitment of teacher union members to this campaign, in particular the strong resolve shown by our principal members,” Mr Ryan said.
“State school teachers and principals across Australia have demonstrated that they are ready and wiling to take action to protect their students and schools. This campaign has never been about ‘accountability’ and ‘transparency’ – it has always been about preventing political expediency from damaging education.
“QTU members have appreciated the ongoing support from principal associations and parents groups, which has been a critical element in our success.”
The QTU understands that most schools will proceed with the NAPLAN tests as scheduled on 11-13 May 2010, and is continuing negotiations with the State Government to allow extra time for those schools which require it.