THE Andrews Labor Government’s press release yesterday that Prep students in government schools will get free books will not fix stagnating literacy standards in Victorian schools.
Unlike the Victorian Liberal Nationals who, if successful in November, will introduce a compulsory phonics screening check for all grade 1 students, Labor is not doing the hard work to improve literacy standards in the early years of school. The Year 1 phonics check will lead to more effective teaching of reading in our schools through early identification and support of children who experience difficulties.
The former South Australian Labor government introduced a trial of this phonics check in 50 schools, but James Merlino and Victorian Labor don’t believe this test is necessary in our state.
Until Daniel Andrews and James Merlino take action to de-clutter the curriculum and focus on teaching the basics of literacy and numeracy, we are not going to see any real improvement in education outcomes.
Daniel Andrews’ so-called ‘Education State’ has seen no overall improvement on education outcomes in Victoria, evidenced by no significant improvement in 2017 NAPLAN results. In reading, year 9 continued a downward trend achieving a mean score below 2008 levels, while the year 7 reading score was essentially the same as it was in 2014. In numeracy, our students in years 5 and 9 have gone backwards since 2015.
The Liberal Nationals believe we need to de-clutter the curriculum, remove distractions from classrooms, and make our schools safer places so kids can perform to their best and build the foundation for a successful and fulfilled life.
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