Australia’s national education evidence body

Writing development: what does a decade of NAPLAN data reveal?

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This report discusses AERO’s 2022 analysis of student writing data – the most extensive investigation into this area ever conducted in Australia.  

AERO’s researchers analysed more than 10 million NAPLAN writing results, spanning 2011 to 2021, and 366 samples of students’ NAPLAN writing.  

Overall, our research suggests that students’ writing skills have declined over 7 years (2011 to 2018), with many high school students significantly behind the expectations outlined in curriculum documents.  

The key findings, implications and a series of recommendations are presented in both the full report and report summary document.  

AERO Writing Report on NAPLAN Data

Contributors: Dr Eunro Lee, Lihini De Silva and Dr Melody McCormick.

We would also like to thank Dr Damon Thomas for peer reviewing the report.

Publication date
18 October 2022
Last updated
15 November 2022
Christine Jackson, Dr Lucy Lu, Dr Peter Knapp, Dr Wai Yin Wan, and Dr Olivia Groves.
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