Lack of progress in NAPLAN results shows need for Gonski funding

5 August 2015

The lack of progress in NAPLAN results and continuing gaps in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged students show the importance of delivering the full six years of Gonski funding.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said results released today showing a lack of improvement since NAPLAN began showed testing alone was not enough to lift student performance.

“Despite minor improvements in some areas and States, in particular South Australia, it is clear that recent years have not seen an improvement in our NAPLAN results,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“NAPLAN is just one measure of what a school does, and its importance should not be overrated, but the overall pattern of these results is a concern.

“The way to improve results is to invest in schools on the basis of need, as the Gonski Review recommended.”

“Extra resources to schools means smaller classes, more individual support and more targeted literacy and numeracy programs, the things we need to lift student performance.

“In States where Gonski funding has been delivered directly to schools we are starting to see improvements in results, but we need this funding to continue to consolidate those gains.

“We need all political parties to commit to the full six years of Gonski, so that we can lift all schools to the resource standard needed to give all students a quality education.

“The Abbott Government’s plan to abandon the last two years of Gonski agreements will cut 20,000 educators from public schools alone. How is that going to improve results?”

“NAPLAN data has also shown the huge gaps in achievement that exist between students, based on socio-economic status.

“A previous analysis of NAPLAN results up to 2014 by Save Our Schools showed that gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students had grown since 2008.

“Students from disadvantaged backgrounds were, on average, four years behind high SES students – regardless of whether they attended public or private schools.

“We need to address these gaps with targeted Gonski funding to ensure all students get the skills they need for life after school.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291