Backpackers approached by Education Department.
Backpackers approached by Education Department. Geoff Potter

Tourists called to assist on NAPLAN

BACKPACKERS are being recruited to supervise national literacy and numeracy tests as the stalemate between teachers and the Federal Government continues.

In a letter sent to NSW Teachers Federation members at the weekend, it was revealed the Department of Education and Training had issued an appeal for backpackers on working holiday visas to volunteer to supervise students during the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test, due to go ahead this month.

The appeal is a last-ditch effort by the Federal Government “after failing to attract non-school based staff, casual or retired teachers in any significant numbers to replace teachers and principals”, says the NSW Teachers Federation.

“This of course raises significant issues relating to child protection, especially when the DET is proposing to employ people who will require overseas police checks.”

Teachers were likely to receive a formal direction yesterday to implement the NAPLAN test plan – but it’s unlikely to be followed through.

The NSW Teachers Federation has advised all members to refuse to implement the NAPLAN plan in their school “until students are protected from harm caused by the publication of school league tables”.

“You should respond that you are complying with the directive of your union and that you will not assist with the implementation of the tests,” the letter continues.

“You may also be asked if you will obstruct the implementation of the tests by outsiders entering the school. To this you should respond that you will be complying with the directives of the NSW Teachers Federation.”

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