Testing boycott averted

LITERACY and numeracy tests will go ahead in Queensland next week after an agreement was reached between unions and the Federal Government.

The Australian Education Union (AEU) announced yesterday it was ditching industrial action in public schools after an offer from the Federal Government to set up a working party providing advice on how Naplan test results are used.

Teachers’ unions were worried the tests would be used to form simplistic league tables.

Queensland Education Minister Geoff Wilson, whose department was in the process of recruiting thousands of back-up teachers in case the boycott went ahead, said it was a welcome outcome.

“I am pleased the Federal Government and the Australian Education Union have reached a positive, commonsense solution to lift the boycott of national testing,” Mr Wilson said.

Queensland Teachers Union president Steve Ryan said common sense had prevailed. Education Minister Julia Gillard agreed to the demands of the union in terms of setting up a working party under the auspices of ACARA, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, and the working party will involve union input, he said.

Tests will be held May 11-13.

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