Testimonials, March 2015

My School 2015 data release and NAPLAN

…Education is like a business between the family and the school. NAPLAN is the third party to assess the outcome of the education. someone may say it doesn't assess all the metrics, but that's fine, at least it assess those basic domains that easy to assess, and those schools can finally be held accountable for their services. In addition, Schools can't replace families on children's personality development, so let's back to basics, teach them how to read, write and calculate, and with these skills and growing confidence, the kids develop themselves !

Simo, parent,
The Advertiser

Naplan provides indicative performance levels across subect areas (it does not claim to do anything else), it is not meant to be a comprehensive assessment of any particular school. It does not take away the responsibility of any parent to do thier own assessment.

The Advertiser

The various data shared by ACARA provide important information for parents, teachers, principals and educational leaders, but the full story of a school needs a deeper understanding and direct experience,”

“The My School update on ‘high-gain’ schools has reiterated something that we already knew: That schools of all sizes, in all regions and from all sectors are providing quality teaching and learning that is making a real difference to the students in their care,” Mr Fox said.

Ross Fox,
Executive Director,
National Catholic Education Commission

The My School website provides insight to help understand how individual schools are performing, and what their strengths are.

My School is a valuable source of information for parents and carers, and is backed up by the value of speaking to the principal and teachers, and observing the progress made by students in the classroom.

Joy Burch,
Minister for Education and Training,
ACT Legislative Assebmly


[My School] is a valuable resource based on seven years of data updated annually.

We have always emphasised that visits to a prospective school, examination of its website and discussions with other parents are an essential part of research to find the right school for each child.

Michelle Green,
Chief Executive
Independent Schools Victoria

We are actually really thrilled that our results are improving.

Students really like that conversation about their learning and the areas they need to improve on.

Sandy Richardson
Roma Mitchell Secondary 
The Australian

NAPLAN is a snapshot of how a student is performing at one point.

One thing we don't do is teach to prepare students for a good result in NAPLAN. We think that if students are taught correctly then they should get a good result anyway.

Dubbo performs well, but still room for improvement in NAPLAN.

Michael Cronk,
Public Schools -- Macquarie
Daily Liberal


(Wantirna South Primary School, in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, was on the high gain list for improvements in numeracy in Year 3--5.)

The school was "due recognition for the hard work put in by staff".

We're always striving to get better and by getting better the children get better.

Not every child's an academic, but if we get their literacy and numeracy right, then everything else will fall into place.

If the children are happy to come to school then learning will take place.

Wayne McDonald
Wantirna South Primary School



(Our Lady of Mercy College made it to the high gains list for improvement in the field of numeracy in Year 7--9.)

... It was a good way of affirming people for what they were doing.

We've been on a journey of thinking about the way we work in maths for five or six years.

When you get some external affirmation it really does continue to bring new energy to what you're doing so it is really important to us.

NAPLAN is a diagnostic tool that we use.

We spend a lot of time looking at the data that comes from that, but not to improve our NAPLAN results, but to improve our students learning in maths.

NAPLAN results: Data shows 59 Victorian schools made big improvements in literacy and numeracy

Julie Ryan
Our Lady of Mercy College



Many of the results are very pleasing, really satisfying.

The student gain is an important area to look at and it's very consistent. The strength of our school through Years 3--9 is excellent.

Simon Price
St Mary's Catholic School
Wellington Times

(For Farrer Primary School acting principal Linda Heath, the results are a tiny snapshot of improvements across all areas of learning at the school.)

All of the staff are proud. We work really hard and we love to see results.

We look at and analyse a lot of data, and we concentrate on a number of areas of learning, including science and environmental science here at Farrer.

Linda Heath
Acting Principal
Farrer Primary School 
Canberra Times


(Murtoa College Principal Tony Goodwin said he liked the NAPLAN testing method, but it was not the be-all and end-all indicator of a school's ability to educate students.)

The use of data is very important. What comes out with NAPLAN is one of the best tools we have to advise us on student progress.

The importance for us is looking at the relative growth and now we can look at that growth across a single cohort.

The school used the results to identify areas that might need extra attention.

We put in strategies to change things across the whole school. All our teachers will address the issue.

For example, if we've found in our grade five cohort spelling was down, we would address that.

Tony Goodwin
Murtoa College Principal
The Wimmera Mait-Times


(Edenhope College Principal Robyn Hollis said it was important to remember NAPLAN was just one way to measure results.)

"It is great when you have good results. We did last year and we saw improvements across some cohorts and we were stoked to see those results.

NAPLAN measures specifically the test they run at that point in time.

Some students might not perform well at NAPLAN, but can go on to have excellent outcomes in their education and life.

Robyn Hollis
Edenhope College Principal
The Wimmera Mait-Times


Nation's school showing overall improvement in academic results
SBS World News:

I’ve seen the marks and results of those exams. That actually helped us and showed us our level of skill.

Taha Zahab,

They (her parents) will be happy to know that I did really well in NAPLAN and that my studying paid off.


I was surprised with my results because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do well.

Queenie Desplat,

it makes me feel good about how the teachers have taught us how to do well and how we’re representing our school academically.

Marko Veledinovic,

Dubbo performs well, but still room for improvement in NAPLAN
Daily Liberal:

One thing we don't do is teach to prepare students for a good result in NAPLAN. We think that if students are taught correctly then they should get a good result anyway.

Michael Cronk
Director, Public Schools, Macquarie



Education minister denies favouring independent schools

NAPLAN is one measure that you do use to validate what you’re doing.

…working together collaboratively to work out what to teach them to ensure that they all learn at really high levels

Monique Carter, Principal
Lansdowne Crescent PS


NAPLAN results: Data shows 59 Victorian schools made big improvements in literacy and numeracy

We've been on a journey of thinking about the way we work in maths for five or six years.

When you get some external affirmation, it really does continue to bring new energy to what you're doing so it is really important to us.

NAPLAN is a diagnostic tool that we use.

We spend a lot of time looking at the data that comes from that, but not to improve our NAPLAN results, but to improve our students learning in maths.

Principal Julie Ryan
Our Lady of Mercy College


Warwick schools showing progress in NAPLAN
Warwick Daily News:

We expect to do well, but we won't be resting on our laurels.

We identified spelling as an area we wanted to improve in and we are working hard to upskill our teachers in ways they can teach spelling.

Results can go up and down each year -- we're more interested in the long-term trends.

Nigel Grant

Director of Learning and Innovation 
Scots PGC College


Writing: The main worry in NAPLAN
The Border Mail:

We looked at the data from 2013 to set goals for 2014 and made reading our focus.

I’m glad across the board that has improved.

This year we will set our goals based on the latest data and we will focus on writing.

The data that is provided is a fantastic tool.

Mark MacLean
Holy Spirit Primary School Principal


Hunter schools above average for NAPLAN
Newcastle Herald:

The other key thing we’ve done is change student mindsets about the testing.

We’ve encouraged them to do the best they can rather than seeing it as another day at school without applying themselves.

I’m reluctant to prepare the students for this with practice testing, it’s really designed to be a point in time test to see how these kids are going.

But we do spend time talking about bringing the right equipment and planning to be there on time.

Principal Timothy Petterson
St Philip’s Christian College


NAPLAN results released for South Australian schools
The Australian:

I believe it (NAPLAN) is useful because it provides a snapshot of where students are at.

In the notion of growth, it’s the best yard stick to measure kids’ progress.

We’ve done pretty well over the years and this is certainly indicating a significant amount of growth in our students.

At the end of the day it’s good teaching and we pride ourselves on making sure we have plenty of support for our students in their learning.

Principal Peter Reid
Para Hills School P--7

Sydney Morning Herald:

In business it is widely recognised that you can demonstrate improvement if you can measure it. The NAPLAN isn't just about measuring a basic skills test it is about providing the ability to identify those high performing areas, researching what makes them be the highest improvers and then putting in place strategies to replicate that across all schools. When that is done the improvement vastly outweigh the money spent on it.


I agree that the NAPLAN statistics can never present a comprehensive picture of a school. It was never intended that it do say. However, they present an important snap-shot of academic achievement that allows parent's to track their child's standing over time and give them a realistic idea of where their child stands on a national basis, something that is impossible to ascertain from regular school reports. The absentee rate provided also gives parents important information about a school.


A thirty minute test sat in familiar surroundings with familiar teachers should not be a stressful experience, unless, of course, parents or teachers have made it so by over-emphasising its importance & making kids practice for it. At my son's school it is no more stressful that any other day & there is no rehearsal. And I have never heard any of the parents talking about it at the school gate.


David, the "time wasted" for teachers by NAPLAN tests is about an hour & a half per year for the three tests. Hardly onerous. And children in years 3-9 should not be "stressed" by sitting for a test surrounded by their usual school peers. By that stage they should be used to sitting for regular tests & assessments that are part of the school routine.


Most parents want My School (even with its limitations). It allows them to make some comparison of schools - so they can make a more informed decision when choosing schools for their children (if they live in the metro area and can choose a school and not be stuck with limited or no choice like our country cousins).

These blogs always have the usual negative comments about My School from the Bleeding Heart Brigade and usual band of whingeing current and ex Teachers/Principals who don't like being held to account by anything - and would rather bag My School and whinge - than focus on improving the results of the students they teach. These are the same mob that believe that the school reports our children bring home with meaningless words and grading all though them and that don't tell parents anything - are a good thing. God forbid that we give a report that rates someone as a Fail - because that might damage little Johnny or Mary’s ego and they will never be able to function again in society (note heavy dose of sarcasm).

My School has limitations - and anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that - but it is valuable to parents and holds Principals/Teachers to account. It is here to stay because the majority of parents want it, and like it. Deal with that whingeing Principals/Teachers and the Bleeding Heart Brigade.
Long live My School.

Parent who supports My School

Great stuff. NAPLAN provides the answers we most often seek in other areas. Who/what is the best achiever and who/what is the most improved. It may not be perfect but it is still valuable information.




In response to FB post on Mamamia: Calls for NAPLAN results to be kept secret to stop parents’ competitiveness. What do you think?

I find it a good resource. I am not a teacher, my child knows only her abilities, the schools have too many students to provide me with accurate information about every domain of my child's education. This is at least a point in which insufficient knowledge can be identified (by me as well as teaching staff), and focused on.

It is not about pitting child against child or school against school, it is a tool, that when used appropriately will help the individual and the masses.
Clair Jade Nunn

 I've said it before it is the schools responsibility to not make it so dramatic! My daughter did her first year of naplan last year & it was so insignificant she didn't even blink an eye about it or the school never made a big deal of it.

These schools that are making it an unnecessary drama are creating the pressure.

Bottom line is kids will have to do tests & exams the older they get, it is good practice for them to learn how deal with tests.

Especially these days when the level of learning is much greater & indepth then 10yrs ago
Sherree Miller

Everyone gets way to worked up about it. Use it as a tool to track how your child is doing in the school, state and country. I like it. Our school doesn't pressure the kids, the parents don't talk or boast about marks its just done quietly. I think everyone needs to just calm the heck down.
Loraine Guy

Results can be used in a positive way by parents. They show the areas where students might be having difficulties so parents can help their children.
Belinda Flesser

my son is doing this this year for the first time, just as the HSC with my daughter if the teachers and us have done our jobs right then we shouldnt have an issue, its not the end of the world its another tool to help everyone involved in helping our children , i think it would be a great tool to further help me help my child, parents and some schools need a reality check.
Ann Challinor

Colmar Brunton Research:

What I have found with My School website, it's trying to inform and trying to also assist people in getting a better idea about … what school, what they're doing and how they're funded. I think it's trying to be inclusive… I think it's proactive. It's a good site.

state/Catholic secondary school

See more findings by the Colmar Brunton Research (PDF 133 kb)