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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1065 asked in the Legislative Council on 24 September 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

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

Answered on 24 September 2019


1065. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and Training:

I refer to the recent NAPLAN results indicating that students are not getting the basic skills right in the early years.

(1) Will the minister now concede the curriculum is overcrowded in preprimary to year 2 and consider removing the compulsory assessments placed on teachers for science, humanities and social sciences, digital technology, the arts, health and physical education, thus allowing teachers to teach at a point of need and focus on literacy and numeracy in the early years?

(2) If not, why not?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

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

(1) No. I invite the honourable member to look at our NAPLAN results and he will see in fact that Western Australian students continue to do better every year.

(2) The Australian curriculum is an excellent foundation for student learning. Parents want children to have the opportunity to learn about other areas such as geography and arts. Parents also want to know that their children are achieving in these areas.

The government is committed to focusing on literacy and numeracy, as evidenced in our A Bright Future targets, for which we are clearly focused on improving the health, wellbeing and education of our children. We want more Western Australian children to have the basic reading and numeracy skills needed for lifelong learning, training and employment, but we also want children to develop necessary skills and capabilities to be prepared to study STEM subjects and develop the broad general knowledge they need to be successful in employment and life.