Literacy and numeracy achievement outcomes for Victorian students


We plan to determine whether the Department of Education is improving literacy and numeracy achievement outcomes for Victorian government school students.

Why this is important

Literacy and numeracy achievement is integral to student’s education outcomes, both at school and in post-school education and training. For students who experience socioeconomic and educational disadvantage, equity in education attainment is especially vital for shaping a positive life course and wellbeing.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. It is a nationwide measure that allows parents/carers and educators to see how students are progressing in literacy and numeracy over time – individually, as part of their school community and against national standards. Since NAPLAN was introduced in 2008 there has been a significant gap identified in achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged students. 

DE established the Education State initiative in 2016 with an investment of $10.8 billion. DE developed Education State school targets to focus its efforts on the range of factors that allow students to develop and achieve their best. 

There are a number of relevant targets and related goals including ‘learning for life’ which aims to increase the number of students achieving excellence in reading, maths, science, critical and creative thinking and the arts. There are also targets for ‘breaking the link’, which aims to support students to stay in school, and break the link between disadvantage and student outcomes. 

Data on progress towards these targets and the comparison between disadvantaged and non disadvantaged student achievement is not publicly available. DE has not published its annual target updates since 2019.

What we plan to examine

This is a limited assurance review.

We will focus on whether literacy and numeracy achievement and related outcomes for Victorian government school students are improving. We plan to assess available data on outcomes (including NAPLAN results) and funding for different student cohorts and examine how DE uses data to monitor performance and support improvement. We will also assess how DE is monitoring and reporting against relevant Education State targets.

Who we plan to examine




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