Schools

  • Education is the great enabler. It is the best way of tackling inequality.
  • A modern economy requires a higher level of foundation skills including higher-order reading, writing and mathematical skills, as well as digital literacy.
  • In the future, technical skills and knowledge are unlikely to be enough. Employers will be looking for a mixture of values such as accountability, honesty and a work ethic, behaviours such as adaptability, collaboration and resilience, and skills such as business literacy, critical analysis and problem-solving.
  • Despite ongoing funding increases, Australian students are falling behind.
  • The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is conducted every three years by the OECD and is the internationally accepted academic benchmark for 15-year-olds.
  • In 2015, Australia’s average score in scientific literacy was 510 points, a decline of 17 points compared with 2006. Australia was significantly outperformed by nine countries.
  • In reading literacy, Australia’s average score was 503 points, a decline of 10 points since 2006. Australia was significantly outperformed by 11 countries
  • In mathematical literacy, Australia’s average score in maths literacy was 494 points, a decline of 26 points since 2006. Australia was significantly outperformed by 19 countries.
  • When the PISA scores are broken down in results for states and territories, the achievement gap between the best performing state and worst performing state is equivalent to 1.5 years of schooling in science and maths, and one year of schooling in maths.
  • Compared to 2006, a higher proportion of students are underperforming, while the proportion of high performers has remained static for reading and maths and declined for science.