Minister for Education Martin Dixon said while Victoria's National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results for 2012 showed the state was ranked among the highest performing jurisdictions in Australia more improvement was needed to reverse a period of stagnating results.
Mr Dixon said despite Victorian students performing above the Australian average in 18 of the 20 learning areas and at the Australian average in the remaining two, long-term indicators showed the state's results have plateaued over the past decade.
"While it's one thing to be among the best in Australia, the challenge for us is to ensure our students compare favourably with their peers in the global top tier jurisdictions in Europe, Canada and East Asia," Mr Dixon said.
Mr Dixon said the data showed around 93 per cent of Victorian students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, were performing at or above the national minimum standard in reading, with the area of greatest improvement occurring at year 3.
"While parents can be confident that their children are developing vital skills including reading, writing, spelling and numeracy and that their performance measures up when compared with the skills of their counterparts in other states and territories, as a government we want to drive ongoing improvement," Mr Dixon said.
"The Coalition Government wants to see more students achieving in the top bands. We also want higher levels of achievement in numeracy in the secondary years of schooling."
Mr Dixon said students would continue to benefit from a range of Coalition Government strategies to lift literacy and numeracy performance including maths specialists and extra support for struggling students.
As part of its drive to improve teaching and learning standards the Coalition Government has released a landmark discussion paper New Directions for School Leadership and the Teaching Profession.
Mr Dixon also unveiled late last year his vision for Victoria's education system – Victoria as a Learning Community, with a paper on the government's reform agenda to be released before the end of this year.
More than 250,000 Victorian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participated in national testing this year in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy.
Parents of children who participated in NAPLAN testing will receive reports showing their child's achievement in those areas. These will be distributed by the schools.
SNAPSHOT OF VICTORIA'S PERFORMANCE
- In reading at least 93 per cent of Victorian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are performing at or above the national minimum standard in 2012.
- In numeracy at least 95 per cent of Victorian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are at or above the national minimum standard in 2012.
- In line with previous years, Victoria, along with the ACT and NSW, are the highest performing jurisdictions in 2012.
- In 2012, the mean scores for Victoria are above the Australian average in 18 of the 20 total measures (reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9).