Australia

NAPLAN online rollout delayed until 2021

Education Minister Dan Tehan says the national online rollout of NAPLAN will be delayed until 2021. (AAP)

Australia's education ministers have agreed to extend the online rollout of NAPLAN after the test suffered from connectivity issues this year.

The country's education ministers have agreed to delay the national online rollout of NAPLAN for one year until 2021 following technological issues with the test this year.

The decision was agreed to by Australia's education ministers at a meeting in Melbourne on Friday.

An independent review of the national tests has been commissioned after some students lost connectivity and others were unable to log in when the testing took place across the country in mid-May.

The ministers will await the findings and recommendations of the review before finalising the online transition.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says the tests worked for 97 per cent of students, but the government has to ensure the transition is done properly so all states and territories are online.

The ministers will consider how this year's results are reported, given the connectivity issues.

The federal minister has also rejected a proposal from his NSW counterpart to review the entire system, saying the online rollout has to be the number one priority.

"We've got to get the transition online right," Mr Tehan told reporters after the meeting.

"Then we can look to a more fulsome review of NAPLAN of where we would like to take it for the next decade."

NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell called for a review of the national assessment, which would consider alternative options to the NAPLAN test.

She believes it's time to design a new test that is "genuinely useful".

About 50 per cent of Australian students took the test online this year, with close to 2.2 million assessments overall.

Mr Tehan says the testing is important to see how students are tracking.

"We need NAPLAN. We're seeing our literacy and numeracy rates in this country decline over time, we've got to address that and we've got to make sure we've got the tools which enable us to measure how we're addressing that."

The meeting came just days after Victoria's decision to ban mobile phones at public schools from next year in an effort to tackle cyberbullying and distraction in the classroom.

Mr Tehan has encouraged his counterparts to follow Victoria's lead.

But state education ministers pushed back against the proposal, so experts from France and Ontario, Canada - where phones are banned in classrooms - will brief the next ministers meeting.

The federal government will also create a free phonics check for year one students, so parents and teachers know a child's reading level when they begin school.

Ministers agreed to a review on how secondary senior students are provided advice to help their transitions to work and further study.

The ministers will also look at the needs of teachers in classrooms, and flagged interest in federal laws to prevent cheating in higher education.

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