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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 523 asked in the Legislative Council on 16 May 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


523. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to last year's NAPLAN results indicating there has been a significant statistical decline in writing ability across years 5, 7 and 9 and the fact that three in 10 students are dropping out of high school early or completing year 12 without a Western Australian Certificate of Education.

(1) What measures is the WA government taking to address declining writing standards in our public schools?

(2) Does the government have any plans to review the WA state curriculum?

(3) If yes, to (2), which parts?

(4) How many student teachers in the last 12 months had to take the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education more than once?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of this question.

(1) Effective teaching is the key to improving student writing. Examples of specific actions taken to improve the teaching of writing in Western Australian public schools include a $3.5 million three-year partnership with Curtin University to establish the Centre for Excellence in the Explicit Teaching of Literacy to strengthen and extend the explicit teaching of literacy, including writing; delivery of the three-day leading writing improvement professional learning course to over 500 school leaders and teachers; and development of teaching resources for upper primary and lower secondary teachers to improve year 7 NAPLAN writing results.

(2)–(3) The Western Australian government does not have any plans to review the state curriculum. However, during 2019, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority will undertake normal reviewing processes of the following syllabuses: year 11 and 12 integrated science, general; year 11 and 12 animal production systems—Australian tertiary admission rank; year 11 and 12 plant production systems, ATAR; year 11 and 12 media production and analysis, ATAR; year 11 and 12 geography, ATAR; year 11 and 12 drama, ATAR; year 12 Physical Education Studies, ATAR; and year 12 English as an additional language/dialect, ATAR.

(4) Neither the WA Department of Education nor the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia hold technical data on the number of resits of the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education in the last 12 months.