Naplan shake-up for Year 9 students

"I look forward to seeing the on-line tests sooner rather than later so we as a school can plan and prepare our students to achieve the desired results before their HSC.”

As students sat their Naplan tests last week, much discussion has surrounded the changes to Year 9 testing, which can now affect whether or not a student sits their HSC.

Year 9 students are now required to make three band eights in Naplan to qualify for their HSC.

Fewer than half of all Year 9 students Nationwide are expected to achieve this Naplan result and most will need to pass online tests in the following years to receive their HSC, under the NSW government's new minimum literacy and numeracy standard announced last year.

Richmond High School Principal Clifford Ralph said it was difficult to comment on whether the new changes were good or bad as he was yet to see what was required in the further on-line testing.

"I think the government setting the benchmark of band eights is a noble idea, but until I know exactly what is required for students to achieve in those further test it's hard to comment.

“Students will be allowed to attempt the online testing twice a year until their HSC to make up the marks to sit the exam.

"But without seeing examples of the on-line tests, it's difficult to plan how to best prepare our students.

Mr Ralph said he was most interested to know what it would mean for the students who don't achieve the required results to sit their HSC.

"Preparing those students with the appropriate pathways to achieve the results before their HSC or in fact the tools to achieve it retrospectively after they complete school.

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) confirmed that "the majority of students will be sitting at least one of the online tests starting in Year 10", in a letter published online a week before Naplan tests began.

Former NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli said the measure would ensure students awarded the HSC met minimum literacy and numeracy standards.

"This is about motivating students in junior high school particularly," Mr Piccoli said in 2016. "We do have an issue in NSW that our results aren't as good as they should be."

Students who reach year 12 without passing the required standard in the on-line test will receive a Record of School Achievement.