Numeracy K-12

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.

Changes since previous version

2022 Oct 10 - updated links in policy statement to refer to updated Student Behaviour and Inclusive Education for students with disability policies.

Document history

2020 Jul 01 - updated contact details and made minor style guide changes to policy statement.

Superseded documents


  1. Policy statement
    1. Numeracy
      1. 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.
    2. Numeracy teaching
      1. All teachers in NSW public schools will develop students' numeracy skills and understandings across all key learning areas.
      2. 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.
    3. Numeracy assessment and reporting
      1. 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.
      2. Parents, caregivers and school communities will receive information about students' numeracy achievement from school-based and statewide assessment.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. This policy applies to all schools, regions and directorates of the department.
  3. Context
    1. 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.
    2. School plans will identify numeracy targets that reflect system-wide targets including those for Aboriginal students.
    3. School plans will identify strategies including the professional learning necessary to achieve school numeracy targets.
    4. This policy should be used in conjunction with:
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. The Director, Numeracy and Literacy, as policy owner is responsible for:
      1. publication and currency of the policy and support material
      2. notification of any changes to this policy.
    2. Policy contact person, Leader, Professional Learning, Literacy and Numeracy is responsible for:
      1. provision of advice on the interpretation of this policy
      2. monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the implementation of this policy and the State Numeracy Plan 2006-2008.
    3. Users are responsible for:
      1. verifying that this is the current and complete version of the document, located on the department's Policy Library.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Director, Literacy and Numeracy will monitor the implementation of this policy and will report, as required, to the Executive.
    2. Principals are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of this policy in their schools.
    3. Directors, educational leadership will support principals with the implementation of this policy.
    4. Principals and delegated teachers will supervise the implementation of this policy in schools and report to their Directors, educational leadership.
  6. Contact
    Director, Numeracy and Literacy
    02 7814 2353

    Leader, Professional Learning, Numeracy and Literacy
    02 7814 2684
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