Back to ba­sics for our kids

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - EX­CLU­SIVE LAU­REN MARTYN-JONES

ALL six-year-olds will be tested for their abil­ity to sound out words in a back-to-ba­sics plan to tackle poor lit­er­acy skills.

The new phon­ics test will form part of a com­pul­sory lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy check de­signed to iden­tify weak­nesses in the way ba­sic skills are taught in schools. Fed­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham will to­day an­nounce the fast-tracked re­forms, first flagged in the Bud­get last year.

“There is an ur­gent need to stop so many chil­dren fall­ing through the cracks in Aus­tralian class­rooms, es­pe­cially with the foun­da­tion skill of read­ing,” he said.

Dis­mal global lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy tests saw Aus­tralian chil­dren out­per­formed by kids in coun­tries like Kaza­khstan. FOR­MER Vic­to­ria Po­lice chief com­mis­sioner Kelvin Glare has launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack on the state’s fight against crime.

Mr Glare and a group of fel­low for­mer po­lice chiefs say the force and the State Gov­ern­ment need to take ur­gent ac­tion to tackle the crime wave.

The re­spected group, call­ing it­self the Com­mu­nity Ad­vo­cacy Al­liance, has un­veiled a 70-point plan to com­bat the state’s law­less­ness epi­demic.

It comes af­ter 30 in­mates es­caped from Malms­bury Youth Jus­tice Cen­tre last week in a ma­jor em­bar­rass­ment to Premier Daniel An­drews.

The CAA has also de­manded that: PO­LICE cars be fit­ted with nudge bars to al­low cops to ram rogue ve­hi­cles, af­ter young thugs have been lead­ing cops on dan­ger­ous high-speed chases; UN­MARKED po­lice ve­hi­cles be given of­fi­cial de­cals to in­crease the vis­i­bil­ity of po­lice on the roads; VIC­TO­RIA Po­lice dump the cur­rent “risk-averse” phi­los­o­phy, and re­turn to grass­roots pro­grams in schools.

The call for ac­tion comes as a Sun­day Her­ald Sun in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­veals that the shock­ing be­hav­iour of many young of­fend­ers in youth jus­tice cen­tres has led staff mem­bers to fear for their lives ev­ery day they turn up for work.

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