PUBLIC schools across the south-west are lagging behind their private counterparts with below-average results in the nationwide basic literacy and numeracy tests.
The region’s top schools were revealed this week with the release of the latest NAPLAN data showing private schools with the highest honours.
Analysis of the results by The Standard showed while public schools performed well, they had a pattern of below-average test scores.
Hamilton and Alex-andra College and Good Shepherd College, Hamilton, were among the best ranking high schools in the south-west reaching substantially above-average marks for the year 7 and year 9 tests.
King’s College also ranked as the best performing high school in Warrnambool.
Primary schools St Pius X, St Joseph’s and our Lady Help of Christians schools were placed as the best performers for years 3 and 5 in Warrnambool.
St Pius X Primary School principal Peter McElgunn told The Standard yesterday that he had not seen the results, but said the school did not teach classes specifically to the NAPLAN test.
“It’s the result of targeted teaching using selective data ... we use data to identify students’ strengths and challenges,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work, time and effort that goes into that data.
“At no point do we put any priority in NAPLAN — it’s quite aside to us, it’s a measurement tool.”
The union representing the state’s public school teachers welcomed the release of the report saying it showed state schools performed well, despite lower funding than other states.
But Australian Education Union state secretary Meredith Peace warned too much importance was placed on the “high stakes test”.
“A lot of emphasis is put on that test but it’s a one-time test in the school year,” Ms Peace said.
The union leader said selective private schools were always going to reach higher marks. “It’s much easier to get higher scores when you’re academically selecting your pupils,” she said.
NAPLAN is a standardised test introduced four years ago undertaken each May for years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Full results at http://www.myschool.edu.au/