Last year, more than 23,000 teaching students sat the Federal Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Test last year to assess whether they had skills in the top 30% of the adult population.
And it appears to be paying dividends.
This week, Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, said results from the test shows the “overwhelming majority” have the high levels of skills required to enter the classroom.
“It’s vital our newest teachers have the right skills to teach and the knowledge to lead by example,” Birmingham said.
“The strong results from the 2017 Test highlight 92% of students passed the literacy component and 92.3% the numeracy component. Through this test we’re guaranteeing a high level of basic skills in the next generation of teachers.”
Birmingham said parents, schools and principals expect that a teacher in the classroom has the right subject knowledge and expertise but also the literacy and numeracy skills to best support students.
“We want to see the best and highest skilled teachers in our schools, and this literacy and numeracy test, which the Turnbull Government introduced, helps provide this assurance,” he said.
However, Birmingham added that whilst the 2017 results were encouraging, there was “room for improvement”.
“It is vital that teaching graduates have the skills to hit the ground running,” Birmingham said.
“The 2017 test results are slightly lower than the 2016 results, when 95.2% passed the literacy component and 94.2% for the numeracy component but higher than the 2015 pilot when 92% passed the literacy component and 90% passed the numeracy component.”
Birmingham said higher education providers need to take responsibility for the teacher graduates they accept into their initial teacher education programs.
“Its critical initial teacher education programs are designed to best prepare students for the demands of teaching and that providers are doing everything possible to help teacher graduates succeed and become effective teachers,” he said.