The 2021 preliminary NAPLAN results have been released, providing the first data from the national tests since 2019.
More than 1.2 million students across more than 9,000 schools participated in NAPLAN in May this year, following last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the headline results were pleasing but further analysis of the detailed data was needed, as part of a broader look at the impacts of COVID-19 on Australian students.
“It is certainly a relief that we have not yet seen the significant declines that we may have expected due to school closures, particularly in Victoria,” Minister Tudge said.
“The results also show a resilience among young Australians and they are testament to the hard work of teachers and parents who are supporting learning at home.
“I remain very concerned about the ongoing impact of school closures on young people and their families, particularly the mental health impacts.”
The preliminary 2021 NAPLAN results show no significant decline in results between 2019 and 2021 and, over the longer term, there has been steady improvement in Year 3 and 5 reading, and in Year 5, 7 and 9 numeracy.
Around 70 per cent of schools (more than 6,000) took NAPLAN online this year, with more than 2.9 million tests submitted by approximately 870,000 students through the online portal.
ACARA CEO David de Carvalho said overall students’ literacy and numeracy standards have not significantly suffered, despite the major disruptions of COVID-19 and remote learning.
“Generally, the average trend is positive, with improvements for Year 3 and 5 reading and Year 5, 7 and 9 numeracy, showing gains equivalent to a term’s worth of learning since the base year. The overall decline in writing has begun to flatten, and achievement in Year 5, 7 and 9 has begun to reverse and show signs of an upward trend,” he said.
“The results suggest that persistent effort to improve outcomes pays off. It is testament to the resilience of students, teachers, parents and carers, and school and system leaders during these challenging times.”
In May this year, NAPLAN was successfully undertaken in schools across the country. More than 1.2 million students took part across more than 9,000 schools.
NAPLAN is in the final phase of transition to NAPLAN online, and this year around 70 per cent of schools across the country undertook the test online, submitting more than 2.9 million online tests from 870,000 students.