New report highlights importance of the next National School Reform Agreement

Australia’s overall education performance is above the OECD average in maths, science and literacy, according to an international education assessment.

However, the 2022 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), has found Australian students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to fall behind in maths, science and reading.

The PISA assessment highlights that Australia has a good education system, but it can be a lot better and fairer.

The results show on average, 15-year-olds from poor families are around five years of schooling behind their counterparts.

Indigenous students are around four years of schooling behind non-Indigenous students and students from regional and remote areas are at a disadvantage compared with students from the cities.

These outcomes are similar to the recent NAPLAN results and recent findings from the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO).

This again highlights the importance of fixing the funding gap and this education gap in Australian schools.

Mathematics was the major focus of this PISA cycle, and after falling level with the OECD average in 2018, Australia is now back above the average overall.

PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges and is not based on the curriculum.

More than 690,000 students from 81 countries took part in PISA 2022, including a representative sample of 13,437 Australian 15-year-old students from 743 schools.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“Australia has a good education system, but it can be a lot better and fairer, and these results again highlight this.

“Students from poor families, Indigenous students and students from the regional areas are more likely to need additional support.

“We have to fix the funding gap and fix this education gap.

“That’s why I want the school funding agreement we negotiate next year to tie funding to the sort of things that help children who fall behind to catch up, keep up and finish school.”