NAPLAN plan for newbies
CHILDREN in early primary school face mandatory literacy and numeracy tests and screening to ensure they are taught phonics under a national plan to stop the decline in performance.
The literacy and numeracy checks will be carried out on every Year One student in Australia following national test results that reveal onein-20 students fails to reach minimum standards for reading and maths.
Researchers said the failure to achieve in the early school years flowed through to adulthood, with up to 20 per cent having problems with numeracy later in life.
A panel of teachers and education experts found the most effective phonics instruction methods were not being used by teachers routinely in Australian classrooms.
The panel headed by Dr Jennifer Buckingham has recommended Australia adopt a phonics check used in the UK that has been found to boost students’ results.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who will present the panel’s landmark report to a meeting of the Education Council today, said an “overwhelming case” had been made for literacy and numeracy checks for all Australian schoolchildren.
“We have seen national and international tests that highlight while Australia has an excellent education system, our results have stagnated or even declined in some cases,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This report plainly highlights the need for action.
“The evidence is clear that phonics and numeracy checks will boost outcomes for Australian students.
“The idea behind these checks is to ensure students don’t slip through the cracks.”
He said talks with state and territory ministers and education authorities would flesh out how the screening program would be rolled out.
Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones has argued that the state already teaches and assesses phonics from Prep to Year 2.
The report called for a national approach and said the existing approach in Queensland had “limited usefulness”.