Aug 2, 2017, News.com Australia: NAPLAN results show decline in writing skills http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/school-life/naplan-results-show-decline-in-writing-skills/news-story/4e37271271df328a4386e09b5232229b THE federal education minister has vowed to take action as new figures show writing skills among school students are going backwards. Simon Birmingham says he will hold talks with his state and territory counterparts to discuss how to turn the worrying trend around following concerning results from NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests. The 2017 preliminary results from tests in May were released on Wednesday and show a 2.04 per cent decline in writing skills across all years in Australia since 2011 when the test format changed. The decline was particularly noticeable for students in Year 3, aged about eight years old. … Other states have also gone into damage control over their poor results with South Australia Education Minister Susan Close announcing this morning that public schools would receive a $67.5 million funding increase. In South Australia, NAPLAN results were below the national average in every test at every participating level. … Preliminary results show the Victoria’s year 9 students went backwards in writing during the past five years and years 3, 5 and 7 made no improvement in the same period. … But even in states like NSW, which achieved some of its best results since the national tests began, scores are still falling short of expectations. According to Fairfax, almost 70 per cent of students in NSW will have to sit an extra exam in reading, writing or numeracy to be eligible to sit their Higher School Certificate.