Aussie teaching students’ literacy and numeracy skills put to the test.

A test of potential new teachers’ literacy and numeracy skills shows the overwhelmingly majority have the high level of skills required to enter the classroom.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said 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 per cent of the adult population.

“It’s vital our newest teachers have the right skills to teach and the knowledge to lead by example,” Mr Birmingham said.

“The strong results from the 2017 test highlight 92 per cent of students passed the literacy component and 92.3 per cent the numeracy component.

“Through this test we’re guaranteeing a high level of basic skills in the next generation of teachers.

“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 government introduced helps provide this assurance.”

Mr Birmingham said the 2017 results were encouraging but there was still room for improvement.

“It’s vital teaching graduates have the skills to hit the ground running,” Mr Birmingham said.

“The 2017 test results are slightly lower than the 2016 results, when 95.2 per cent passed the literacy component and 94.2 per cent for the numeracy component but higher than the 2015 pilot when 92 per cent passed the literacy component and 90 per cent passed the numeracy component.

“Higher education providers need to take responsibility for the teacher graduates they accept into their initial teacher education programs.

“It’s 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.”

Mr Birmingham said the government had continued to deliver reforms to boost the quality of teachers in Australia.   

“This test complements other reforms flowing from the Coalition’s Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group including new accreditation standards for teacher training courses and a need for training organisations to demonstrate their graduates have the knowledge and experience to be successful educators,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Review we commissioned from David Gonski and a panel of experts will also ensure schools and teachers are armed with the most effective ways to use the Turnbull Government’s record and growing funding to deliver better outcomes for students.”

Since the Literacy and Numeracy Test began nationally in 2016, it has been delivered to over 37,000 students across 48 higher education institutions throughout Australia.

More information about the test can be found at

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