Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Picture of national literacy emerges.

Download PDFDownload PDF




K038 15 March 2000

Another piece of the national literacy performance puzzle emerged today with the release of NSW Year 3 reading literacy data.

Dr Kemp welcomed the release by the New South Wales Government of their literacy test results against the national benchmark after he called on their release in the Parliament yesterday.

The results show that 91.2% of New South Wales Year 3 students achieved the minimum national reading standard.

"I welcome Minister Aquilina’s release of this vital information for parents. For the first time Australians will soon receive a report on foundational literacy skills on a national basis and against a nationally agreed standard, including comparison of each state and territory against each other," said Dr Kemp.

"New South Wales is to be congratulated on the significant progress that has been made in literacy skills in that state that have been made over the past 3 years.

"New South Wales parents are entitled to know the skill level of their child against the national benchmarks.

National benchmarks provide the only nationally comparable literacy standard. They tell parents whether their child has achieved basic literacy skills and alert parents to the need for action to be taken if their child falls below the benchmark level.

"State tests without the national benchmarks do not do this."

In releasing its data on Year 3 reading performance, NSW joins Victoria, Queensland, WA, SA and the ACT to give an indication of the national picture. Official data from Tasmania has yet to be released.

As part of the National Literacy and Numeracy Plan, all States and Territories assessed Year 3 students in literacy in 1999. Most States have publicly reported student performance results in reading. This latest release of data demonstrates the results that are being achieved by States and Territories through the National Literacy and Numeracy Plan.

"The national benchmarking process is clearly working and states are now showing a commitment to this crucial work," said Dr Kemp.

The Ministerial Council for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) is preparing the National Report on Schooling in Australia to be released once the Year 3 reading results are obtained from all States. As Chair of MCEETYA Dr Kemp will be releasing

the full national report.

Media contact: Samantha Herron 0412 639 754 or  02 62777 460