Is the court interested in NAPLAN?
When NAPLAN is happening, it’s topical everywhere, even in court. So what does the court think about it?
The court has considered NAPLAN in the context of a choice of school at an interim hearing. In doing so the court has provided an indication of its view as to the appropriateness of using NAPLAN test results as evidence of the academic merit of a school;
- The parties had one child, a 12 year old daughter.
- The Application before the court sought orders in relation to what high school the child should commence at.
- Each parent provided significant amounts of information to the court from each of the school’s respective websites. They also annexed tables showing NAPLAN test results released from the Federal Government.
- The school proposed by the mother was closer to her work than the school proposed by the father. The arrangement for care in place provided that the mother did 14 school runs a week in comparison to the 6 of the father.
- A family consultant interviewed the parents and the child and told the court he considered each parent’s perspective on which school the child should attend, as reasonable.
- He said that the child expressed a preference to attend the school nominated by the father. He went on to say, however, that the preference resulted from the child having recently had an argument with her mother. Also, if she decided to spend more time with her father in the future, it would be easier if she was attending the school nominated by him. The consultant did not find this a sufficiently mature reason for the child choosing that school.
- The court considered the NAPLAN information unhelpful at an interim hearing. Unless there was hard evidence of some comprehensive inefficiency on the part of a particular school.
- The court even went so far as to suggest parties refrain from putting any NAPLAN material before the court.
- The child be enrolled at the school proposed by the mother. The child live with the mother and spend time with the father 6 nights a fortnight.
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