Release type: Media Release


Encouraging improvements in maths and science results


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

Australian students have achieved improved results in international mathematics and science tests released today.

According to the 2019 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study which tests the science and maths knowledge from a sample population of Year 4 and Year 8 students every four years, Australian students were:

  • 14th out of 58 countries for Year 4 science, an improvement of 11 places.
  • Ninth out of 39 countries for Year 8 science, an improvement of eight places.
  • 10th out of 39 countries for Year 8 mathematics, an improvement of seven places.
  • 27th out of 58 countries for Year 4 mathematics, up one place.

More than 580,000 students from 64 countries and eight benchmarking systems participated in the 2019 study, including 14,950 Australian students from 571 Australian schools. TIMMS tests a student’s knowledge of curriculum content while PISA tests how well students apply reading, maths, and science skills to situations.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan congratulated the students and schools that took part in the 2019 tests.

"Our Government is focused on improving the literacy and numeracy skills of Australian students because they are the fundamental building blocks of a successful education," Mr Tehan said.

"These results suggest our education system is moving in the right direction but, as the PISA results last year demonstrated, we all must maintain our focus on student outcomes and achieving the highest standards.

"Our Government is providing record school funding of $314.7 billion which is linked to state and territory governments implementing reforms to improve student outcomes.

"We have also implemented important reforms to teacher training to ensure that graduate teachers have the skills to succeed in the classroom and to deliver a world-leading education."

Morrison Government reforms to improve student outcomes include:

  • Introduction of a free, Year One Phonics Check so parents, carers and teachers can better understand how children are learning to read.
  • $25 million to fund a national evidence institute to undertake important educational research.
  • Fast tracking a review of the entire Australian Curriculum with an initial focus on maths and science.
  • Focussing on literacy and numeracy learning progressions.
  • Making the teaching of phonics and reading instruction mandatory for initial teacher education (ITE) courses and increasing the time allocated to literacy in ITE courses.