Literacy and Numeracy Strategy 2017-2020

The NSW Literacy and Numeracy Strategy (PDF 1222.53 KB) is a four-year plan to support the quality teaching of literacy and numeracy across all NSW schools. It was announced in 2016.

Why literacy and numeracy?

Literacy and numeracy are important because they form the basis of our learning. They are required to learn other skills, as well as for participation in everyday life. Literacy and numeracy skills underpin workforce participation, productivity and the broader economy, and can also impact on social and health outcomes. That is why the strategy focuses on the quality teaching of literacy and numeracy in all NSW schools.

The strategy has been informed by the best available evidence on how to improve student outcomes in literacy and numeracy. An overview of the importance of literacy and numeracy skills and evidence-based practices for improving student outcomes in literacy and numeracy is available on the CESE website.

Five key elements

The strategy outlines five ways to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes:

  • 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.

These five elements have helped shape all of the commitments made under the strategy.

Who is involved?

The strategy will be a combined effort between government bodies, school sectors, staff, students and parents. It will require action from:

  • The NSW Department of Education (DoE)
  • The Catholic Education Commission (CEC)
  • The Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW)
  • The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Timeline for public schools

Term 3, 2017

K-6: Approximately 100 supplementary schools* are nominated to start using revised Best Start Kindergarten Assessment, the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions and PLAN2 in 2018.

*100 schools have been invited to participate in the department’s state-wide evaluation of the strategy. Schools were carefully selected to ensure they are suitable for the analyses needed for the evaluation.

Term 4, 2017

K-6: Early Action for Success schools and selected supplementary schools are provided with professional learning on revised Best Start, the learning progressions and PLAN2.

Term 1, 2018

K-6: Early Action for Success and selected supplementary schools start using revised Best Start, the learning progressions and PLAN2.
K-10: The learning progressions are made available to all schools on the ACARA website.

Term 2, 2018

K-10: PLAN2 released for all schools.
K-10: Professional learning for the learning progressions and PLAN2 for all schools starts.

Term 3, 2018

K-10: Professional learning for the learning progressions and PLAN2 available to all schools.

Term 4, 2018

K-6: Professional learning for revised Best Start commences.
K-10: Professional learning for the learning progressions and PLAN2 available to all schools.

Term 1, 2019

K-6: All primary schools use revised Best Start, PLAN2 and the learning progressions in Kindergarten.

K-10: All schools are encouraged to start using the learning progressions and PLAN2.

7-10: Best Start Year 7 made available.

Term 2, 2019

Literacy and numeracy continuums and PLAN software are discontinued.

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