Peter Holt

No gain in NAPLAN this year

THE organisation behind the NAPLAN tests says it was concerning that there was no significant change in literacy and numeracy results between 2015 and 2016.

Summary data released Wednesday from this year's NAPLAN tests showed results in the past year had plateaued.

"We are concerned that, on a national level, the results have shown no significant improvement across the domains and year levels from 2015," Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority chief executive Robert Randall said.

"Plateauing results are not what we should expect or assume from our education systems."

Results showed reading results for Year 3 and Year 5 and spelling for Year 3 had increased since 2008, when NAPLAN was introduced.

But writing results for Year 7 and Year 9 had decreased since 2011.

A statement from Education Minister Simon Birmingham said since 2013, there had been a 23.7% increase in federal school funding.

In the same period, Australian students' reading scores had risen 0.4%, numeracy scores had increased 1.26% but writing had fallen 0.2%.

Senator Birmingham said funding itself did not improve outcomes; teachers did.

He said the real message to schools and policy makers was to focus on things that would make the greatest difference in classrooms.

Early Childhood Australia chief executive Samantha Page said the NAPLAN results showed the importance of looking at early intervention to identify children who needed learning support.

"We are unlikely to see improvements in the NAPLAN results until we address disadvantage during the critical early years of childhood," she said.

Shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek said the plateauing results were not a reflection of Gonski school funding but showed the Government had failed to implement a needs-based funding system.

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