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‘We get other people to teach maths’: What’s driving our embarrassing test results

The maths skills of Victorian students are going backwards.

That’s one of the most startling findings amid a slew of poor results for the Australian education system from an international report card.

Australia’s international test scores have slipped to their lowest ever falling behind countries like the Czech Republic and Poland.

And the Program for International Student Assessment report shows that when it comes to mathematics, Victorian students are six months behind where they were 15 years ago.

“We don’t have enough qualified maths teachers,” Dr Sue Thomson, deputy CEO at the Australian Council for Educational Research, told Ross and John.

“We get other people to teach maths — so, physical education teachers, for example, whoever’s available.

“They do the best they can but they don’t have the deep knowledge of maths you need to teach it really effectively.”

Click PLAY to hear Ms Thomson’s full assessment of the issues and their cause