South Australian schools are achieving modest growth in NAPLAN, with the strongest results shown in years 5 and 9, following the national release of results today.
Education Minister John Gardner characterised the results as a foundation for growth, and further evidence that the Government’s new measures to support literacy were needed.
The state’s mean score relative to the Australian average has improved in 15 out of the 20 domains this year compared to 2017.
However, overall, South Australia’s results remain lowest or second lowest of all states in 17 out of 20 domains.
Growth in numeracy, reading and spelling was seen across all year levels except Year 7, and South Australia has achieved its highest mean scores in Years 3 and 5 reading and numeracy, and in Year 9 numeracy, since NAPLAN began.
This year’s results also show the percentage of students in the higher bands for reading in Years 3 and 5, and numeracy in Year 3, are the highest seen since testing was introduced in 2008.
“There are some encouraging signs in the results, but they also demonstrate that more work needs to be done to achieve our ambition of being known to have the nation’s best schools,” said Education Minister John Gardner.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to implementing our Literacy Guarantee package of measures to support students to improve further.
“A strong start in literacy and numeracy is the essential foundation upon which a student’s education success is built.
“We are fortunate to have thousands of dedicated and talented educators in South Australian schools, but there are a range of measures that the Marshall Liberal Government is now implementing to support them in that work.
“In time, we believe that they will see strong and positive impacts on achievement.
“This month, South Australia became the first state in the country to deliver phonics checks to all Year 1 students in government schools, which will allow our children to benefit from identifying where support is needed early on to support their development.
“We believe the benefits of this will be realised in the years ahead, as students identified by the screening check will have received the intervention they need well before they sit their first NAPLAN test.
“The Education Department is also recruiting 13 new literacy coaches this year, providing professional development for teachers and resources for schools and families.”
As part of the Literacy Guarantee, the Education Department will deliver a range of other measures including:
- More breakfast programs in schools
- Enhanced parental engagement resources
- Free dyslexia workshops for parents across South Australia, including in regional areas
- Working with non-government organisations, including the Smith Family and Raising Literacy Australia, to deliver evidence-based literacy and numeracy programs for disadvantaged children in their early years
- Conferences providing professional development opportunities for teachers; and
- Literacy and numeracy testing for all teaching students to demonstrate that they have literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the population as a condition for obtaining registration as a new teacher.