The South Australian Education Department has told school principals that teachers are to place a greater focus on teaching numeracy to lift mathematics skills, in line with their reading and writing ability. The department spokesperson, Gary Costello, has told principals that student results are not currently up to scratch and mathematical skills need improving most.
“Our numeracy results are significantly below where we’d like them to be and they are below what we are achieving in literacy” he said. “We had a greater focus on literacy than numeracy and I think it is now time to redress that balance”.
His comments have followed on from recent analysis of NAPLAN test results, which have shown that there are no South Australian primary schools in the Top 100 around the nation, and there are only four South Australian secondary schools in the Top 100.
Mr Costello said that some teachers felt that they were ill equipped to teach mathematics and the Education Department was working with university researchers to assess how well teachers were trained in numeracy.