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Improving education results

Published 10th September, 2018

Increase the proportion of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands by eight per cent by 2019

Why is this important to the people of NSW?

Creating high expectations for schools and students is important to ensure that all students achieve their potential.

A focus on the top two NAPLAN bands in reading and numeracy is an indicator that schools are successfully helping more students to reach their potential.

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Students with sound literacy and numeracy skills are more likely to stay at school, complete their HSC and continue on to tertiary education.

That’s why we are working towards increasing the proportion of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands by eight per cent by 2019.

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NAPLAN is a snapshot test held in May for students in years three, five, seven and nine to check their progress in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy.

How are we tracking?

2017 NAPLAN results show we have met the 2019 Improving Education Results target two years early with an average of 35.5 per cent of students (more than 167,700 students) achieving the top two NAPLAN bands in reading and/or numeracy. This is 8300 additional students compared to last year.

What are we doing?

Evidence-based reforms

By focusing on teacher quality through the Great Teaching Inspired Learning actions, and through targeted reforms such as the Connected Communities strategy and the Rural and Remote Education Blueprint, we are determined to improve teaching and learning in all schools. Other reforms include: 

  • The Bump it Up strategy identifies schools which are going well and, the data suggests, have the greatest capacity to improve their students' performance in literacy and numeracy. Forty six of the 137 Bump it Up schools are in regional areas.
  • The number of schools participating in the K-2 Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan has increased to 668, including 407 schools in regional areas.

Student-focused funding

The NSW Government was the first in Australia to sign up to the National Education Reform Agreement, following the Gonski Review [PDF 3.85mb], which is a fairer distribution of funding so students in most need are properly resourced. We developed the Resource Allocation Model of funding, which targets NSW students and schools in most need of extra support – this is now considered best practice in Australia and many other countries.

In 2017-18, we will invest more than $15 billion for government and non-government schools. This total allocation includes:

  • $809 million capital investment in 2017-18, as part of the four year $4.2 billion allocation for new and existing capital works projects in government schools.
  • $88 million in 2017-18 as part of the $224 million ‘Quality Teaching, Successful Students’ 2015 election commitment. This package will enable up to 1000 of the best teachers to mentor and coach other teachers and monitor student performance data across schools.
  • $50 million in 2017-18 as part of the $167 million ‘Supported Students, Successful Students’ 2015 election commitment. This package is providing: 
    • additional school counsellors
    • flexible wellbeing resources to provide student support
    • state-wide support for positive behaviour for learning and targeted support for Aboriginal and refugee students, their families and communities.

Case study

Gorokan Public School

Gorokan Public School on the Central Coast has achieved its best year 3 NAPLAN results in both reading and numeracy in recent years. In 2017, top two band results for year 3 students also exceeded those for similar schools by around 50 per cent. This is largely a result of monitoring student progress and differentiated instruction through the Early Action for Success and Bump It Up strategies. 

What can you do?

If you're a parent, being involved can make a big difference to your child's school and education – teachers and families need to work in partnership.

  • Get involved in your child’s education
  • Help your child practice the literacy and numeracy skills they're learning at school.
  • Speak to your child's school principal about what they are doing to improve literacy and numeracy.
  • Volunteer at your child's school, many schools encourage parents and carers to contribute to reading and numeracy programs, help in the canteen, go on excursions or contribute to cultural events.
Published 10th September, 2018
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