Listen: CEO | Principal Derek Scott on ABC Radio

Haileybury CEO | Principal, Mr Derek Scott was recently interviewed by Richelle Hunt on ABC Radio, discussing Australia's latest education rankings.

The 2018 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment of 15-year-olds (PISA) saw Australia plunge to 29th of 79 countries or regions in Mathematics literacy and 16th in Reading literacy. When PISA started in 2003 Australia was in the top six in both categories.

Australia reportedly ranked 70th in classroom discipline.

Mr Scott says the PISA results are “a disaster” for the education sector, the country and importantly for students who are not developing basic core skills in literacy and numeracy.

Haileybury has defied this downward trend in literacy and numeracy with its NAPLAN results, which puts students at least three and sometimes four years ahead of their Australian peers, underscoring the School’s focus on basic skills and hard work.

Mr Scott says this is due to a strong academic program and a refusal to be “side-tracked by excuses or fads”. He says without exception, education must begin with a solid foundation in basic subjects such as reading, writing and Mathematics.

“This needs to start with a focus on explicit instruction in primary school,” he says. “We need a phonics approach to literacy and a relentless focus on core skills.  We also need to ensure that the 39 institutions delivering teacher education courses have a consistent approach to giving graduate primary school teachers skills in explicit teaching and phonics.”

Click below to listen to the full interview.