Release type: Media Release


PISA results show more work to be done

Minister for Education, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results show our academic performance is slipping.

“The PISA report shows that Labor’s Education Revolution has been a spectacular failure,” Mr Pyne said.

“These results are the worst for Australia since testing began and shows that we are falling further behind our regional neighbours.

“Today’s report card shows that for all the billions spent on laptops and school halls there is still no evidence of a lift in outcomes for students.

“Australia has lost more ground to other participating countries since the last test in PISA 2009. Based on our raw mean score, we have dropped from 15th to 19th in mathematical literacy, 10th to 16th in scientific literacy and 9th to 14th in reading literacy.

“Despite spending 44% more on education funding over the past decade results are still in decline.

“This clearly shows that more funding does not equate to better outcomes.”

The PISA report has also revealed how critical teacher quality is to Australia’s education system and to lifting student outcomes. The report outlines how student outcomes, regardless of which school they attend, are directly impacted by the quality of teaching they receive.

“We must take note of the decline in our international performance. PISA shows us that our education system is high-equity where socio-economic status matters less when compared to other OECD countries, but there is a large variation in individual schools between high performing and low performing students,” Mr Pyne said.

“PISA has found that in Australia it matters more which teacher you are allocated as opposed to which school you attend.

“It is concerning that our high performing students are not doing as well as students from other countries and that our low performing students are performing very poorly."

The PISA 2012: How Australia Measures Up report has been released by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on behalf of all Australian Governments. There were 65 participating countries and economies in PISA 2012 which compares how 15-year-old students perform in mathematical, reading and scientific literacy.

“All the evidence shows that better outcomes are achieved by lifting the quality of teaching, ensuring we have a robust curriculum, expanding principal autonomy and encouraging more parental engagement.

“The Coalition is focused on these core initiatives,” he said.

“We have to look at improved classroom pedagogy and greater school autonomy because these are the things we know will lift results.”

The full PISA report is available at

Graph 1 Trends in Australia's performance in PISA since 2000 (based on raw score)

Graph 1 Trends in Australia's performance in PISA since 2000 (based on raw score)

Table 1 Australia's performance in PISA 2012

Table 1 Australia's performance in PISA 2012