Release type: Media Release


2006 National Benchmark Results

The 2006 National Reading, Writing and Numeracy Benchmark results were released today by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).

The results showed that the majority of Australian students in Years 3, 5 and 7 achieved the minimum benchmark standards in reading, writing and numeracy.

However, it is concerning that the levels of achievement amongst Indigenous students, literacy in boys, and students living in very remote regions, remains significantly lower than the overall standard.

The results for Indigenous students in year 7 numeracy for instance showed that less than half, 48 per cent, met the benchmark in 2006.

Disturbingly, 47 per cent of very remote students achieved the benchmark in year 7 numeracy compared to 72 per cent of remote students.

While there are no significant differences in numeracy between boys’ and girls’ achievement, in reading at all levels, fewer boys than girls achieved the national benchmarks.

This report shows that states and territories continue to put great effort into improving literacy and numeracy. However, significant challenges remain in ensuring all Australian children meet the standards required in the 21st Century.

This report demonstrates the urgent need for an Education Revolution to ensure all Australian kids get a world class education.

The introduction of national literacy and numeracy tests in May 2008 will provide the first truly accurate picture of how our kids are progressing.

This May, students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 across the country will sit the same tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy.

These national results, combined with the development of a national curriculum, provide an opportunity for collaborative reform which genuinely raises standards.

The previous Liberal government encouraged a culture of blame which undermined transparency and blocked meaningful reform.

In contrast, the Rudd Government is committed to working with school systems in every state and territory to deliver a world class education system.

The 2006 national benchmark results report is available at:

Information on the new national literacy and numeracy tests is available at: