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Literacy and Numeracy Strategy – at a glance

The NSW Literacy and Numeracy Strategy (2017-2020) ensures students have the essential literacy and numeracy skills they need for success in learning and in life.

The strategy is a 4-year plan comprising five key elements:

  • a continued focus on intervention in the early years of schooling
  • clear guidance on explicit teaching and better, faster diagnostic assessments
  • more support for literacy and numeracy in secondary schools
  • quality training for teacher education students in literacy and numeracy
  • rigorous evaluation to focus investment and effort on what works.

For more information visit Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

  • Term 2, 2019 - Professional learning on the Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions commences for all schools
  • Term 1, 2019  - Best Start Year 7 assessment launched in opt-in schools
  • Term 1, 2019 - Revised Best Start Kindergarten Assessment administered in all schools
  • Term 4, 2018  - Secondary Schools pilot of Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions and PLAN2
  • Term 3, 2018  - 292 secondary schools opt-in to Best Start Year 7
  • Term 3, 2018  - 26 primary and secondary Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Advisors (LANSAs) appointed
  • From Term 2, 2018 - Central Schools pilot of Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions and PLAN2 in upper primary and high school
  • Term 2, 2018 - 24 primary and secondary Literacy and Numeracy Strategy Advisors (LANSAs) appointed
  • Term 1, 2018 -  Revised Best Start Kindergarten Assessment and PLAN2 implemented in Early Action for Success schools

The strategy has been developed as an extension of the 2012-16 State Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan. In 2012, the action plan committed $261 million to support students in Kindergarten to Year 2 whose literacy and numeracy development was at risk.

The evaluation of the 2012-16 action plan provided some important lessons to inform its next phase. In particular, the importance of:

  • targeted support from schools sectors
  • school leadership
  • instructional leaders
  • quality teaching
  • data analysis and formative assessment.

The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017-20 commits an additional $340 million over 4 years to maintain our focus on early intervention across all 3 school sectors. It also commits NSW schools to a relentless focus on explicit teaching and high expectations for all students, by extending our literacy and numeracy focus up into secondary schools.

21 September 2016

Initiatives under the strategy have been informed by extensive research, trials and consultation.

Action plan schools began using the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions and revised Best Start Kindergarten Assessment in Term 1, 2018. The implementation process and timelines beyond action plan schools is determined by each sector.

Learn more about the implementation timeline for public schools.

Current evaluations

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) is currently participating in an evaluation of the effectiveness of the MiniLit literacy program. It is also conducting an evaluation of a numeracy program called Targeted Early Numeracy (TEN), and a qualitative review of a literacy program called Language, Learning and Literacy (L3). An evaluation of the K-2 Action Plan 2017-20 is also underway.

Past evaluations

Contact details


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