James Merlino Victorian Students top Naplan

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, students in the Education State are excelling – with Victorian kids recording the nation’s highest NAPLAN results and huge improvements on previous years.

Since 2015, the Andrews Labor Government has invested more than $22.2 billion in our Education State reforms, giving every Victorian child the chance to succeed – and those investments are now paying profound dividends.

Across all our government, Catholic and independent schools, the extraordinary work of Victorian students and their teachers, support staff and families has seen the state improve its results in key areas since 2019 – responding with amazing resilience to months of remote learning.

Victorian Year 3 students are top of the class in Reading, Numeracy, and Grammar and Punctuation, while Year 5s lead the nation in Reading, Numeracy, Writing, and Grammar and Punctuation.

Year 7 students improved in Reading, Writing and Spelling compared to 2019 – achieving the highest scores of any jurisdiction for the skills of Reading and Numeracy. Meanwhile, Year 9s topped the nation in Spelling.

“These phenomenal results are more than statistics – they represent thousands of Victorian kids who will be afforded better opportunities through education, no matter where they live or what their background” Minister for Education James Merlino said.

Victorian students in Year 5 began Prep when the Labor Government started its Education State reforms, and are now seeing the benefits of six years of dedicated investment.

The number of Year 5s achieving in the top two bands for Reading has increased 36.9 per cent in 2015 to 45.5 per cent this year – a lift of almost 10 percentage points. That’s 13,000 more Year 3 and Year 5 students now working at the highest reading levels since 2015.

The results also show the Government’s work to increase equity and tackle disadvantage is working.

“We’re so proud to be building a world-class education system that gives every student the opportunity to shine – and I want to thank every educator, principal, family and school community across Victoria for helping us get here” Mr Merlino added.

Since 2015, the number of students in the bottom two bands for Reading has decreased by eight per cent at Year 5 and two per cent in Year 3 – that’s 8,100 more Victorian kids who now have the foundational literacy and numeracy skills to succeed in life.

Also read: Landmark Agreement to Secure Highly Skilled Teachers in Victoria

In secondary schools, more students are achieving the top two bands of Reading compared to 2019 and there are less students in the bottom two bands.

For the first time, certificates will be awarded to Year 9 students who excel in NAPLAN or significantly improve their results, to recognise excellence and keep students engaged and motivated – with certificates going to almost 19,000 Year 9 students who are in the very top band of NAPLAN, or who significantly improved on their Year 7 results.

It is likely that the disruptions of the pandemic had a greater impact on students’ numeracy than literacy development, and the Government will take action to ensure maths skills continue to grow through increased support to school staff with professional guidance and resources.

The Labor Government has made major investments to support student learning and wellbeing throughout the coronavirus pandemic, including $250 million to deploy more than 6,400 tutors across Victorian schools and a $28.5 million boost to ensure students receive the health and wellbeing support they need.

The $200 million Schools Mental Health Fund will support Victorian kids to help them succeed at school and through life, guided by an evidence-based range of mental health and wellbeing programs to be released this year.

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