A student making notes with a pencil

Improving education results

Published 14th July, 2017

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?

We want every child's education to help them reach their full potential, no matter what their circumstances.

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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?

Preliminary 2017 NAPLAN results show we have met the 2019 Improving Education Results target two years early with an average of 35.4 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.

2017 NAPLAN results are preliminary with final results available in December 2017.

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 number of schools participating in the K-2 Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan has increased to 668, including 407 schools in regional areas.
  • 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.
  • From 2020, students in NSW will need to meet a minimum literacy and numeracy standard to receive the HSC. There are multiple opportunities to meet the minimum standard including achieving at least band 8 in their year 9 NAPLAN tests. 

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.

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 14th July, 2017