Hundreds of new literacy and numeracy experts will join NSW public schools under a $256m plan to help lift student outcomes in these key areas.
The latest data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that since PISA first assessed reading literacy in 2000, Australia’s mean score have declined by the equivalent of around three-quarters of a year of schooling.
However, the creation of more than 1,300 new positions will address this by strengthening a continuous focus on literacy and numeracy and supporting curriculum implementation with the new K-2 English and Mathematics syllabuses rolling out from 2022.
The initiative is a core part of the new School Success Model, which ensures evidence-based teaching and best practice are implemented across the system and support is targeted.
“We are building a world-class curriculum and these new positions will support teachers to deliver it in the best way possible,” NSW Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell, said.
The new program will begin from 2022, with all positions in place ahead of full implementation of the new K-2 English and Mathematics Syllabuses in 2023.
Under the state’s School Success Model, a number of ‘Ambassador Schools’ are being designated to lift teacher and student performance across NSW.
The high-performing schools will partner with universities through two research centres, one in Sydney and one in regional NSW, to generate education research that can be shared across the NSW system and around the world.
Auburn North Public School was one of the first three Ambassador Schools to be designated. Its principal, Mark Harris, said his school is using evidence-based practices to deliver improved educational outcomes for all of its students.
“As an Ambassador School we have the opportunity to share what works in our context, to help other schools in their drive for school improvement,” Harris told The Educator.
“Our school recognises the vital role parents play in the wellbeing of students and in a child's educational success.”
Harris said his school has developed a welcoming learning community and culture for its parents that are both based on trusting and mutually respectful relationships.
“A range of effective programs that have resulted in a high level of parent involvement and parent engagement have also been developed and implemented at the school,” he said.
“Initiatives include the ‘Harmony House’ programs that provide educational, wellbeing and social programs for parents and the empowering ‘Parents as Partners in Learning’ program that assists parents develop the confidence, knowledge and skills to become active participants in their children's learning in the home.”