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EDUCATION AND TRAINING
LITERACY AND NUMERACY
In 2008, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat national literacy and numeracy tests for the first time. Prior to this each state had a set of tests that were equivalised to national benchmarks. The most recent results available for NSW tests are for 2006. In 2006, the minimum NSW standards for literacy were not met by 8.0% of Year 3 students, 6.1% of Year 5 students, and 3.8% of Year 7 students.
The strength of the tests are that they highlight populations or regions that are doing less well. For both literacy and numeracy, there was a substantial gap between Indigenous achievement compared to the results for all students. The proportion of Indigenous students not meeting the NSW benchmarks were considerably higher than for all students: 25% of Year 3 students, 20% of Year 5 students, and 13% of Year 7 students.
Basic numeracy benchmarks were not met by 9.1% of total Year 3 students, 5.4% of Year 5 students, and 7.1% of Year 7 students. For Indigenous students, numeracy benchmarks were not met by 25% of Year 3 students, 17% of Year 5 students, and 21% of Year 7 students.
ADULT LITERACY AND LIFE SKILLS
Adult literacy is important for the social and economic wellbeing of the nation. The 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey assessed a sample of people aged 15 to 74 on five scales: prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, problem solving and health literacy. In NSW, Level 3 or above (regarded by the survey developers as effectively functional literacy) was achieved by 54% of the population on the prose literacy scale, 53% on the document literacy scale, 48% on the numeracy scale, 30% on the problem solving scale, and 41% on the health literacy scale. These proportions were similar for the Australian population as a whole.
ABS Child Care Survey (cat. no. 4402.0)
ABS Survey of Education and Work (cat. no. 6227.0)
Adult Learning (cat. no. 4229.0)
Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (cat. no. 4228.0)
Department of Education, Science and Training, Students, 2000-2006: Selected Higher Education Statistics
Department of Education, Science and Training; National Indigenous Preschool Census 2000-04; National Preschool Census 2005 and 2006
National Centre for Vocational Education Research, National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, September 2007
National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics; Students and courses, 2006
NSW Department of Education and Training
NSW Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2005-06
Schools, Australia (cat. no. 4221.0)
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