Aussie Primary Students To Face NAPLAN Fitness Tests: Report

Schools are letting down kids when it comes to fitness.
Young school students could soon be fitness tested as part of NAPLAN.
Young school students could soon be fitness tested as part of NAPLAN.

Children at primary schools across NSW could be forced to undergo fitness tests as part of a planned revamp of NAPLAN testing.

NewsCorp Australia reports that students as young as 9-years-old would be included in the fitness exams aimed at ranking schools on an obesity scale.

The plan is said to be a recommendation in an unreleased report commissioned by the NSW Government that takes aim at some schools failing to teach sport seriously.

According to NewsCorp, the Baird Government investigation shows 80 percent of primary school sports teachers aren't specialists in their field while nearly half of high school sports classes were rated as too easy.

The yet-to-be-released document reportedly recommends that the fitness testing become a part of the NAPLAN result, with only one-in-five children currently meeting their daily exercise requirements.

But Labor education spokesman Jihad Dib said there were better options available.

"The introduction of mandatory physical testing is not the way to go," he told Macquarie Radio.

"If the government is serious what they should be looking at doing is introducing mandatory fitness programs or healthy lifestyle choices, or things that will support students in terms of tackling the obesity epidemic."

NAPLAN, or the National Assessment Program -- Literacy and Numeracy as it's formally known, is a series of tests focused on basic skills that are administered annually to Australian students.

It's an annual assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 and aims to test the "types of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life".

Saturday's media report follows research released last month suggesting that within a decade Australia's obesity epidemic is expected to impact 35 percent of the population, up from today's base of 28 percent.

The dramatic prediction, published in the International Journal of Obesity, indicated that severe obesity would also increase and that women would be hit harder than men.

The study, led by the University of Sydney, said Australia's rate of obesity among children was part of the reason why the rate among adults was tipped to rise.