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Student difficulties identified by teachers

Teachers were asked to indicate the proportion of their students they believed were experiencing specific difficulties. The response choices were percentage brackets: ‘0%–20%’, ’21%–40%’, ’41%–60%’, ‘61%–80%’, or ’81%–100%’.

Percentage brackets were used so that teachers could more easily report how many students were experiencing difficulties, but they are broad groups. All responses in these percentage brackets were combined and used to calculate averages that could show more detail than, for example, ‘0-20%’.

These average proportions of students that teachers considered were showing signs of these difficulties by year level are shown in Table RCTT#3.

Table RCTT#3

Average percentage of students affected by various difficulties as identified by teachers

  • Standard errors appear in parentheses.

The two most common difficulties identified by teachers for both year levels were behavioural issues (Year four, 32%; Year six, 34%) and difficulty focusing attention and concentrating (Year four, 34%; Year six, 35%). On average, teachers reported about one in every three students across both year levels experiencing these difficulties.

Teachers also reported that, on average, about one in four of their students demonstrated a lack of basic knowledge and skills (Year four, 28%; Year six, 29%), absenteeism (Year four, 26%; Year six, 24%), or reading impairment such as dyslexia (Year four, 26%; Year six, 24%).

The least reported difficulties were related to well-being – poor health, hunger and lack of sleep – with between 16% and 18% of students showing signs of these issues across both year levels. This is between one and two in ten students.