The latest NAPLAN results have revealed hundreds of Year 3 children could not spell the words bell, grow and noise and that more boys than girls failed to meet the minimum standards.
The test results, released on Wednesday morning, showed Year 7 and 9 male students performed particularly badly.
Almost 17 per cent of Year 7 boys are failing to meet the minimum standard in writing, compared to seven per cent of girls.
Nearly eight per cent are falling behind in reading. There were similar results for Year 9 boys, failing to reach the minimum standard in writing.
The test results also showed hundreds of Year 3 children couldn't spell words like bell, grow or noise.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham warned the latest results should be a wake-up call for educators and parents.
"I think there are are elements there that we have to be mindful on," he said.
"It goes back to the home environment. More time needs to be spent by parents, by grandparents."
"Read with them from the absolute earliest ages and ensure there is an engagement with literacy, that there are rules around the engagement with technology and how much time is spent on the iPad or other devices because otherwise it does get to a point where there are problems."
- 'She'll be missed forever': Bride tragically dies hours after her wedding
- Father and son arrested after video shows them bashing teenager
- Man furious after receiving fine for parking in his own driveway
The preliminary results released in August showed small gains across the board in reading and numeracy since 2008, but results for writing had dropped since 2011.
Now the full NAPLAN report, released on Wednesday, shows their reading skills have also failed to advance.
Mr Birmingham acknowledged there had not been any real progress among secondary students.
"While there have been pockets of improvement, we're not seeing the sort of consistency we should expect in these results," he told The Australian.
"We know how vital literacy skills are to setting students up for life beyond school, so the ... flatlining of reading results should act as a wake-up call that some changes are required."