The New South Wales Government has announced a $24 million initiative to hire 200 additional teachers for the state's schools in 2012, responding to underperformance in literacy and numeracy across both the government and non-government school sectors.
The investment follows a promise in the NSW 2011 2012 State Budget to hire 900 new teachers over the coming five-year period.
NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has also confirmed that the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Literacy and Numeracy established in June 2011 will now be implemented.
The Advisory Group recommended:
- early identification of students' levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy, and tailoring programs to suit each child's needs
- a change in teaching practice, encouraging a greater focus on individual students
- the use of tiered interventions if remediation in literacy or numeracy is required.
Mr Piccoli said that an increased focus on individual students will involve three key elements: personalised learning, diagnostic assessment and teacher professional development under the direction of an instructional leader'.
In government schools, we will provide funding for the appointment of 50 hands-on Instructional Leaders in the public schools with the greatest need, with the first five appointed by the end of May,' he said.
Instructional leaders will focus on providing classroom-based professional development to teachers in personalised learning and diagnostic assessment.'
The government has stressed that each school sector will be required to track and report on the progress and achievements of any students nominated for intervention.
This announcement also follows the February release of the Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling, which called for reform to the Australian schooling system.
Literacy and numeracy action plan NSW Government media release