Tech glitches prompt Naplan trial snub

Andrew Drummond and Jim Morton
Qld pulls out of online NAPLAN test trial

Glitches with the national online Naplan trial system have prompted Queensland to withdraw from the latest version of school student assessment, but the federal government will push ahead.

Problems remain just weeks before the trial, and Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones says she is concerned that students' ability will not be accurately tested.

"I was not able to get assurances federally about the readiness (of the system) and my strong view is that I would rather that we get it right," Ms Jones told reporters on Friday after a meeting with her state and territory counterparts in Hobart.

"We will be sitting it out in 2017 and will look at it again in 2018."

Before the May 9-11 trial, Queensland asked experts to analyse the system and they found a range of problems, including data loss.

"We are now only a month away from Naplan Online going live and the fact that we still have to do testing and there are still changes being made to the platform, I just don't have the confidence to say to parents at this stage that we can go ahead," Ms Jones said.

After Queensland's education department announced on Friday morning they had pulled their 68 state schools out of the trial, both the Queensland Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Queensland followed suit.

The move means the 102 Queensland schools that had signed up will now conduct traditional pencil-and-paper tests next month.

Only schools from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia will take part in the trial.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham respects Queensland's decision but insists all will be fine on the day.

He says technicians from Education Services Australia have indicated good progress.

"I'm confident that any and all concerns can adequately be addressed to ensure that this is a smooth process for schools who are involved in it," Senator Birmingham said.

"We want to see the trial succeed.

"And the jurisdictions who are continuing with that trial have committed to work closely with officials in terms of technological issues to make sure any and all issues are resolved to their satisfaction so the small number of schools participating in the trial can have absolute confidence that it will work and be successful this year."

Senator Birmingham says the target of a 2019 online Naplan system promises to deliver faster and richer assessments of students.