Release type: Media Release


NAPLAN raises the bar to identify and help children who need additional support


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

Nearly 10 per cent of school students need additional support to meet minimum standards in literacy and numeracy, the 2023 NAPLAN national report released today shows.

This compares to around 7 per cent of students who did not meet the minimum standard in the last NAPLAN national report. 

This is the result of changes Education Ministers made this year to the NAPLAN minimum standards, deliberately raising the bar, or the standard, students are expected to meet.

Ministers did this to make sure students who need additional support are properly identified. The next step is to provide them with the additional support.

The revised NAPLAN grades students into four levels of proficiency: Exceeding, Strong, Developing and Needs Additional Support. 

This year’s NAPLAN results make it clear that the education of your parents, where you live, and your background has a massive impact on your likelihood to start behind or fall behind at school.

In the Needs Additional Support level are:

  • Around one in three First Nations students.
  • Around a quarter of students in remote locations.
  • Half of all students in very remote locations.
  • Around a quarter of students whose parents did not complete high school.
  • Around 3 per cent of students with a parent who finished university. 

Research released this week by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) also reveals that currently very few students who start behind or fall behind, catch up.  

AERO’s research indicates that only one in five students who are below the minimum standard in Year 3 are above it in Year 9.

This shows that early identification and intervention is critical.

That’s why Ministers have made changes to raise the bar and more clearly identify students who are behind and need additional support.

The next step is to provide that additional support.

The Albanese Government is committed to working with State and Territory Governments to get every school on a path to 100 per cent of its fair funding level.

We need to tie that funding to the things that will make a difference.

That’s what the O’Brien Review is all about. It will make recommendations to Ministers about what we should be tie funding to in next year’s new National School Reform Agreement to help children who fall behind to catch up, keep up and finish school.

More information about NAPLAN can be found at  

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare: 

“These results show the changes we have made to NAPLAN have raised the bar.

“We have done this on purpose.

“We have raised the minimum standard students are now expected to meet so we can really identify the students who need additional support.

“The next step is to provide them with that support.

“The evidence shows if you have fall behind at school it’s really hard to catch up. Only one in five students who are behind the minimum standard in literacy and numeracy in Year 3 are above it in Year 9. This is what we have got to fix.

“Early identification and intervention is critical.

“That’s what the O’Brien Review into the next National School Reform Agreement is all about. Making sure we are tying funding to the sort of things that help children who fall behind to catch up, keep up and finish school.”