Around 92 per cent of the one million Australian students who took part in literacy and numeracy testing this year are at or above national minimum standards according to the Summary Report for the 2012 National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) released by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).


Minister for School Education Peter Garrett said the report shows that the focus on early education is starting to bear fruit.


“This year we’ve seen some good signs of progress in a number of areas. Year 3 students are performing particularly well, with statistically significant improvements in reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation between 2008 and 2012,” Mr Garrett said.


 “Since last year we’ve also seen statistically significant improvements in Year 3, 5 and 7 spelling, and Year 7 grammar and punctuation.


“But there were also a few decreases in some areas including in writing across most year groups.”


Mr Garrett said the preliminary results show Australia’s overall school performance has remained steady since 2008.


"But they also show that there is a long way to go in meeting the national goal of reaching the world's top five by 2025 in maths, reading and science and for equity in school performance,” he said.


Key results in the summary report include:

  • Since the NAPLAN tests began in 2008, there have been statistically significant improvements nationally in Year 3 reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation, Year 5 reading, spelling and numeracy and Year 7 grammar and punctuation.
  • NSW, Victoria and the ACT produced the highest results across all year levels and areas tested for the fourth consecutive year, with the ACT having the highest mean scale score for reading, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy at all year levels.
  • Average scores for Year 5 spelling showed a marked improvement in QLD, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, SA, ACT and WA
  • Year 9 results have been stable in all test subjects since 2008, indicating there may need to be a greater focus on the core skills of early secondary year students.


Individual student reports will be sent to parents by education authorities from Monday 17 September, and the full national report will be released at the end of the year. Individual school information will also be available on the My School website in early 2013.


The Summary Report and more information about the tests are available on the NAPLAN website