This policy is current as at 18/07/2019 02:41pm, AEST. Please refer to policy library website ( for an updated version.

Numeracy K-12 Policy

Describes the role of teachers in developing students' numeracy skills to support specific numeracy demands across key learning areas; and outlines the assessment and reporting to guide numeracy programs and provide information to parents, caregivers and communities.

1. Objectives - Policy statement

1.1 Numeracy


To be numerate is to use mathematical ideas effectively to participate in daily life and make sense of the world. It incorporates the use of numerical, spatial, graphical, statistical and algebraic concepts and skills in a variety of contexts and involves the critical evaluation, interpretation, application and communication of mathematical information in a range of practical situations.

1.2 Numeracy teaching


All teachers in NSW government schools will develop students' numeracy skills and understandings across all Key Learning Areas.


Teachers will identify and support the specific numeracy demands of the Key Learning Areas leading to knowledge, skills and understandings in:

  • mental computation and numerical reasoning.
  • patterning, generalisation and algebraic reasoning.
  • applying measurement strategies.
  • spatial visualisation and geometric reasoning.
  • data analysis, including tables.
  • graphical representation and analysis.

1.3 Numeracy assessment and reporting


School and state numeracy assessment data will be used to guide teaching programs and to obtain information about each student's numeracy achievement for reporting requirements.


Parents, caregivers and school communities will receive information about students' numeracy achievement from school-based and state-wide assessment.

2. Audience and applicability


This policy applies to all schools, regions and directorates of NSW Department of Education.

3. Context


Initiation of this policy occurred under the Office of Schools Plan 2006–2008 and the State Numeracy Plan 2006–2008. The State Numeracy Plan 2006–2008 guided the work of schools, regions and state office directorates to achieve further numeracy improvements for all students in NSW public schools.


School plans will identify numeracy targets that reflect system-wide targets including those for Aboriginal students.


School plans will identify strategies including the professional learning necessary to achieve school numeracy targets.


This policy should be used in conjunction with all NSW Board of Studies (NSW BOS) syllabuses.

4. Responsibilities and delegations


The Director, Early Learning and Primary Education and the Director, Secondary Education as policy owners are responsible for:

  • publication and currency of the policy and support material.
  • notification of any changes to this policy.


Policy contact persons, Leader Primary Curriculum and Leader Secondary Curriculum, are responsible for:

  • provision of advice on the interpretation of this policy.
  • monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the implementation of this policy and the State Numeracy Plan 2006-2008.


Users are responsible for verifying that this is the current and complete version of the document, located at:

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements


The Director, Early Learning and Primary Education and the Director, Secondary Education will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report, as required, to the Executive.


Principals are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this policy in their schools.


Directors Public Schools NSW will support principals with the implementation of this policy.


Principals and delegated teachers will supervise the implementation of this policy in schools and report to their School Education Director.

6. Contact

Leader, Primary Curriculum (02) 9266 8473.

Leader, Secondary Curriculum (02) 9244 5697.

Return to top of page