Adjustments for students with disability

Adjustments are provided to students with disability to support access to the tests and encourage maximum participation. These adjustments are detailed in the National protocols for test administration.

The following items are important to remember when considering the application of adjustments in the NAPLAN tests:

  • Adjustments should generally reflect the kind of support and assistance provided in the classroom for assessment activities in order for students to demonstrate what they know and can do.
  • Adjustments should allow students with various disabilities to access the tests. A student may have access to more than one adjustment in any one test, and adjustments may be different for different tests for a given student.
  • When providing adjustments, the integrity of the NAPLAN tests should be maintained. For example, reading the stimulus material and/or questions to a student during the reading test is not appropriate or permitted, even if this is what the student has in their normal classroom.

ACARA has developed example adjustment scenarios demonstrating the application of adjustments permitted in NAPLAN tests. These scenarios were developed to support schools in their assessment of students requiring adjustments to participate in NAPLAN tests. They can be found in the Disability adjustment scenarios section.

Some adjustments must be approved by the relevant test administration authority. For further information, please contact your test administration authority.

The use of scribes and NAPLAN support persons

A scribe and a NAPLAN support person provide different types of support to help students with disability access NAPLAN tests.

A scribe may be used for writing tests. A NAPLAN support person may be used for reading, language conventions and numeracy tests.

While the same person may fulfil both of these roles, they are distinct roles with separate responsibilities.

Scribe

A scribe can be used for the NAPLAN writing test to assist a student with disability, provided the student has been using a scribe in their regular class assessments. Scribes must have experience working as a scribe, be officially and regularly engaged by the school, and be aware of and abide by the NAPLAN scribe rules.

Scribe rules explain requirements such as writing as the student dictates, and not suggesting or prompting the student for ideas or words. The scribe rules can be found in the National protocols for test administration.

NAPLAN support person

A NAPLAN support person can be used for the NAPLAN reading, language conventions and numeracy tests. A NAPLAN support person is not allowed for the writing test because a scribe is the appropriate equivalent adjustment for the writing test.  

A NAPLAN support person is officially engaged by the school and can undertake tasks such as shading bubbles indicated by the student. More information on NAPLAN support persons can be found in the National protocols for test administration.  

The NAPLAN support person:

  • cannot be a person with responsibility for administering the NAPLAN test

  • cannot be a parent of the student

  • cannot be another student

  • can be a teacher 

  • can be another appropriate person engaged by the school.