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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    First national literacy and numeracy report card released

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    First national literacy and numeracy report card released

    Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said Queensland’s results in the first standardised national tests for literacy and numeracy demonstrated the importance of early years education.

    The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 were released today by the Ministerial Council for Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) and represent the first common national testing of its kind in Australia.

    “The Queensland results show more than eight out of 10 students attained the national minimum standard in all areas and, in many areas, nine out of 10 students were achieving the national standard,” Mr Welford said.

    “In numeracy and reading, more than 90 per cent of Queensland students achieved the national standard in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 and Years 7 and 9 respectively.

    “In the early years, reading results are not as high, influenced by the fact that our students are up to nine months younger and have had almost a year’s less formal schooling at the time of testing compared to other states.

    “I expect this anomaly in the early years will dissipate over time, as we start to see the benefits of an extra year of schooling – the newly-introduced Prep year.

    “Our Government's plan to expand early childhood education services so they are ready for school will also help to give our youngest students the best start to their education and bring students more into line with other states.

    “Presently, only about 29 per cent of students attend kindergarten or an early childhood education program—in the rest of the nation, participation exceeds 85 per cent and is as high as 96 per cent in some states.

    “The results show that despite demographic and age differences, Queensland students begin to catch up with many of their interstate peers in a number of areas by the time they reach Year 9.

    “One area for concern is the writing result in the NAPLAN tests which shows in Year 3 more than 90 per cent of students were at or above the national minimum standard, but in Year 9 the results were disappointing with just 83.6 per cent of students achieving the national minimum standard.”

    Mr Welford said the State Government was working with the Federal Government on a national curriculum which would provide greater consistency between what students learn at different stages of their education.

    “The ‘Essential Learnings’ were also introduced into Queensland schools this year to give greater consistency in curriculum in Queensland,” he said.

    “They provide teachers with clear statements of what should be taught in Queensland schools from Years 1 to 9 and describe the knowledge, understanding and ways of working that students need for lifelong learning.

    “This new curriculum gives Queensland parents and carers confidence that a core curriculum will be offered in all Queensland schools. With this type of intervention Queensland will continue to focus on improved results for the future.”

    Media contact: Marnie Stitz or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000