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Thursday, 17 Mar 2016

NAPLAN – Use of a scribe in the Writing test

To ensure national consistency in the use of scribes and ensure that results are not compromised, prior written permission to use a scribe must be sought and given by BOSTES. The closing date for applications is Friday 29 April.

All applications will be carefully considered against the NAPLAN National Protocols. Approval will only be given where a student meets all four criteria listed in the National Protocols for Test Administration (NPTA) section 6.5.3 and is unable to complete the Writing test independently using any alternative available adjustments. Computer use, extra time and/or rest breaks are adjustments which schools should consider as an alternative to scribe use.

Principals and NAPLAN coordinators need to be aware of the protocols regarding the use of a scribe in the NAPLAN Writing test.

The key points from 6.5 of the NPTA are:

  • The role of a Scribe is to provide access to the Writing test, not to improve a student’s performance in this test. Students must be using a scribe regularly in the classroom and be familiar with the NAPLAN scribe rules.
  • Where appropriate, students should be encouraged to undertake the tests independently of a Scribe using alternative adjustments. This will ensure the most accurate assessment of the student’s ability to produce a written text when marked against the ten criteria.
  • Poor handwriting in itself or a reluctance to write is not sufficient justification for the use of a Scribe. Poor handwriting will not impact on the marker’s ability to assess the student’s text against the marking criteria.
  • A Scribe is not permitted for students who have a temporary injury (such as a broken arm) at the time of the Writing test. Students with a temporary injury who are unable to write, may use a computer for the Writing test where approval has been given by BOSTES.

As per the protocols, a scribe is only provided for students who have difficulty with the physical act of writing. This does not include students who have difficulty processing what they want to write.

The NAPLAN scribe rules can be downloaded from the PAR website and will also be provided in the back of the Test Administration Handbook for Teachers.

For more information, contact:
(02) 9367 8382

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