• File image of Indigenous students creating 'Stronger Smarter' mural. (Facebook/Stronger Smarter)Source: Facebook/Stronger Smarter
The 2016 NAPLAN Report has delivered encouraging news for schools working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
13 Dec 2016 - 10:56 AM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2016 - 10:58 AM

There's been a definite improvement among Indigenous primary school students, according to NAPLAN results, but there's still a long way to go.

National chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Karen Spiller, says the 2016 NAPLAN results showed overall gains for Indigenous students in Year 3 and Year 5 in reading and numeracy.

"But Australia still has a long way to go to close the achievement gap, especially for students in remote and very remote regions," she says.

Only a quarter of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas were at or above the national minimum standard for reading, compared to 91 per cent for non-indigenous students.

Ms Spiller is also a member of the board of Yalari, a not-for-profit organisation that supports the secondary education of Indigenous students from regional, rural and remote communities.

Despite welcoming gains in early learning, she believes issues such as the transition from primary to secondary school, and a continued focus on writing skills, deserve more attention from policy makers.

"Out-of-country solutions for Indigenous students, such as residential scholarships to study in metropolitan and regional boarding schools, are proving very successful," Ms Spiller argues.

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