BRISBANE, Dec 13 - National chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Karen Spiller, says the 2016 NAPLAN Report delivers encouraging news for schools working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Spiller, the principal of St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School in Brisbane, said 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 said.

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.

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.

She said gains in early learning were welcome.

However, if Indigenous students were to build on them, then the transition from primary to secondary school and a continued focus on writing skills also deserved 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," Spiller said.

AAP