By Cameron Kirby

A recent poll by The Daily Telegraph says parents are spending up to $800 a month on tutors to help their children receive top scores on NAPLAN tests.

School kids will begin undertaking NAPLAN testing from tomorrow. Photo:  Scotch College Adelaide
School kids will begin undertaking NAPLAN testing from tomorrow. (Source: Flickr – Scotch College Adelaide)

The National Assessment Plan Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is designed to take a snapshot of the abilities of year 3, 5, 7, and 9 students nationally.

However with a Senate review now underway there are claims the added pressure put on the test has pushed parents to hire expensive specialist tutors to ensure their child does well.

Test organisers have stressed this is not necessary and that NAPLAN is not a pass/fail test.

Curriculum Team Executive Officer for Lutheran Education Queensland, Dr Meg Noack, says personalised tutors are not the way to go when preparing for NAPLAN.

“I think the best preparation for NAPLAN is good teaching,” she said.

“When the writing task is there you have good strategies for writing and planning your story.

“You walk into any newsagent during May the stand that is out the front is all the preparation booklets for NAPLAN and I think that is a sad reduction of what we consider quality education to be all about.

Dr Noack says that some teachers are preparing kids for the test with rote learning, which is wrong and taking us back to and era of education that is long gone.

Cheryl Taube is a parent from Kelvin Grove State College and says although the school downplays the importance of the tests, students and parents still feel pressure.

“The teachers feel that they really need to the kids to be up to date and want the school to do really well,” she said.

“They want the kids to do well but they don’t want to pressure the kids as well – it’s complicated.”

Her daughter Jasmine, who will be sitting the Grade 7 test, is not too worried about the tests and says she will be giving it her best even without help from a tutor.

NAPLAN tests start tomorrow and continue until Thursday.