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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 12 > Concerns arise over NAPLAN Online confidentiality agreement

Concerns arise over NAPLAN Online confidentiality agreement

contract_sign_web_qual.pngWith Queensland schools poised to take part in NAPLAN Online in 2018, our union advises members not to sign the confidentiality agreements being distributed by The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). 

Issue snapshot: 

  • In the lead up to Queensland roll-out of NAPLAN Online, teachers at participating schools have been instructed to sign confidentiality agreements distributed by a third party: ACARA and Pearson Australia
  • Signing this agreement may put teachers at risk of legal action if they were to inadvertently breach the contract. 
  • This requirement is an insult to the professionalism of teachers, whose job it is to conduct assessment, and who do so by ethical and just means.
  • Our union advises members to not sign this agreement, and to contact our union for further advice if they have already done so. 

A selection of state, independent and Catholic schools in Queensland will take part in NAPLAN Online in 2018.

2018 will be the first time Queensland schools will be experiencing NAPLAN Online, after Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones pulled Queensland schools from the 2017 trial due to technical glitches uncovered in the online tool. 

With the commencement of the Queensland roll-out, teachers have been presented with a confidentiality agreement to sign in order to participate in the administration of the online test. 

This agreement has been distributed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on behalf of Pearson Australia, the commercial organisation which administers the NAPLAN test.

Since 2012 Pearson Australia have held contracts with curriculum agencies in a number of states to handle the operations involved in running NAPLAN. 

The confidentiality agreement states that teachers “will not disclose the content of the test or any related materials and procedures to any other person(s) apart from Pearson and the students undertaking the NAPLAN Online Item-Trial test”. 

Our union advises its members not to sign this agreement. Those who have already done so should seek further advice from our union. 

IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said there is no reason for teachers to sign a confidentiality agreement with a third party.

“It is concerning that the confidentiality agreement does not outline the consequences for a breach.

“It is possible that teachers, if they were to sign this agreement, could be faced with legal action if they were to discuss the contents of the test with anyone – including teacher colleagues. 

“It is an unnecessary precaution taken by ACARA, and Pearson by extension, to avoid ‘unfair advantages’ students may gain from teachers. 

“This is an insult to the professionalism of teachers, whose job it is to conduct assessment, and who do so by ethical and just means. 

“Teachers are encouraged to avoid signing any such agreement in order to safeguard against inadvertent breaches,” Mr Spriggs said. 

For further advice contact our union on FREECALL 1800 177 937. 


Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.