Evaluation of the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan 2012-2016

This evaluation was originally published 02 June 2017.


This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan (Action Plan). The Action Plan was implemented in targeted schools in NSW over the five-year period, 2012-2016, with an independent evaluation being conducted over this period. The evaluation reports on the extent to which student literacy and numeracy performance improved, factors that may have led to any improvement and the extent to which any improvement achieved was cost-effective.

The NSW Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan, 2012-2016

Through the Action Plan, the NSW Government progressively allocated $261 million to meet the needs of some 41,392 Kindergarten to Year 2 students in 448 targeted schools over the period 2012 to 2016.

The schools targeted were serving communities characterised by aggregated social disadvantage, and were among the lowest-achieving in NSW. Schools were selected by the government, Catholic and independent sectors, using an agreed methodology which included factors such as NAPLAN results, level of socio-educational advantage and school readiness for participation. They represent approximately 20 per cent of the total number of primary schools in NSW. In addition to targeted schools receiving support, the NSW Government supported The Exodus Foundation in its attempts to deliver targeted literacy interventions to students at risk over the period 2012-2014.

Targeted schools were provided resourcing to:

  • support the explicit assessment of the learning needs of students especially on entry into Kindergarten
  • provide classroom-based professional development for teachers in personalised learning and diagnostic assessment
  • adopt the use of a three-tiered response to interventions for those children who need special attention
  • focus on whole school instructional leadership, including the appointment of Instructional Leaders, Literacy and Numeracy, within the government school system, and equivalent positions in the Catholic school sector.

The Action Plan aimed to increase the literacy and numeracy outcomes for students in the targeted schools, and to reduce the influence of socio-economic status as a key determinant of students’ academic performance.


  • Evaluation
  • Literacy and numeracy

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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