Union ordered to drop national school test boycott

Queensland Teachers Union deputy general secretary Graham Moloney and colleagues at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission conference (Photo by David Jackmanson)

The Queensland Teachers’ Union has been ordered to drop its boycott of national school reading writing and maths tests, the union said today. The order came from the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission after a conference held today to discuss the May boycott of the NAPLAN tests. The union has not yet announced its response to the order.

QTU president Steve Ryan said the union would consider its campaign over the next week He said the union would consider setting up a website as an alternative to the Federal Government’s MySchool.edu.au site. He said the union would also consider public protests outside Queensland Federal MPs’ offices. The QTU is a branch of the Australian Education Union, which has been campaigning against the use of the test results to create “league tables” of schools. The AEU said the league tables are harmful and damaging.

Queensland Education Minister Geoff Wilson said he would be surprised if Queensland teachers do not comply with the order of the commission, and Queensland public school students would be disadvantaged if they did not sit the tests on the same day as students in the Catholic and independent school systems. He said the extensive seven-page decision from the commission said the dispute about the MySchool site could be taken up in other forums.

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