NAPLAN reveals ‘serious decline’ of writing skills in Australian schools
Most Year 9 students are structuring sentences at a level expected of those two years their junior, leaving them struggling to meet curriculum standards.
A review of 10 million NAPLAN results has found standards declined in every key writing area except spelling over a seven-year period to 2018.
The federal Education Minister said he believes helping teaches prepare lesson plans would go a long way to lifting student results.
“We might be able to fix two problems with the one solution: investing in developing lesson plans to help teachers, so they don’t spend all night and the weekend preparing for classes,” Jason Clare said.
The findings echo those of a major review in NSW, which also found teachers lacked confidence in teaching writing, and spent too little classroom time focusing on it, particularly in high school.
Australian Catholic University professor Claire Wyatt-Smith told The Brisbane Times the teaching of writing is “perhaps the biggest equity issue we face”.
“We can use the word illiterate,” she said. “They finish school and are unable to have the proficiency in writing they need for workplace engagement.”