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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Grade 7s in Tassie fail benchmark

The Mercury: Grade 7s in Tassie fail benchmark [14nov05]

TASMANIAN grade 7 students are slipping behind national literacy and numeracy benchmarks, the Education Department's annual report reveals.

The report shows that for the 2003-2004 financial year, grade 7 literacy and numeracy results were lower than the results for grades 3 and 5.

The national reading benchmark was met by 96.4 per cent of grade 3 students and 95.2 per cent of grade 5 students, compared to just 88.3 per cent of grade 7s.

And 93.9 per cent of grade 3s and 92.4 per cent of grade 5s met the national numeracy benchmark compared to only 80.6 per cent of grade 7s.

Education Minister Paula Wriedt conceded that further work was needed in this area.

In this year's State Budget the Government has addressed this issue, committing $750,000 to improve the transition for students moving from primary to secondary education," Ms Wriedt said.

"This funding is in addition to the $500,000 Restart program which operates in high schools for year 7 students who did not achieve benchmark standards in year 5."

The report also showed Aboriginal students were underperforming compared to other students in grade 10, with only 65.7 per cent of Aboriginal students achieving a mark in the middle English syllabus or higher, compared to the average of 83.7 per cent.

And only 61.2 per cent of Aboriginal students achieved a mark in the middle maths syllabus or better in grade 10, compared to 80.2 per cent of all students.

The report, released late last month, also showed a slight increase in workers compensation claims within the department, rising from 503 in 2003-2004 to 510 in 2004-2005.
The number of multiple injury claims rose from 32 to 60 but the number of stress claims dropped from 56 to 39.

Average class size was steady at 24.2 students for secondary schools and 24.5 for primary.


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