The federal Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, said the $1.7 billion cut to education funding in NSW meant students may slip even further.
Preliminary results of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy tests show year 3 students declined in reading, spelling and numeracy between 2008 and 2012.
Over the same period, year 5 students slipped in reading and spelling but improved in numeracy, year 7 students fell in reading and numeracy but improved in spelling, and year 9 students were down in all three areas.
NSW, Victoria and the ACT outperformed other states and territories around Australia and of the 1 million students who took the test, 92 per cent met the minimum level standards.
Mr Garrett said the declines were minimal, although he agreed they were of concern. ”Where there are declines they’re in areas which are small in percentage in most cases and they’re areas which require attention,” he said.