States and Territories will share in more than $147 million in funding from the Gillard Government as rewards for making great progress in their literacy and numeracy targets, School Education Minister Peter Garrett said today.
Mr Garrett said a report released by the COAG Reform Council (CRC) today confirmed that the Government’s Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership is helping lift achievement standards in 1200 schools.
“The CRC report found that schools participating in the partnership generally improved their performance in literacy and numeracy. The results for indigenous students were particularly pleasing – for example, indigenous students in Year 7 in Western Australia recorded a 16.9 per cent improvement in reading, while Year 3 reading in the Northern Territory improved by 16.1 per cent,” he said.
“The majority of states and territories have either met or are making good progress towards most of their targets, which is reflected in the reward funding the Gillard Government will allocate.”
The CRC report highlighted that states and territories either made good progress towards, or fully achieved, 83.8 per cent of their agreed NAPLAN targets and 76.1 per cent of local measure targets to improve literacy and numeracy.
Mr Garrett said $147.3 million of the $211.5 million available in reward funding has been allocated this year.
“I am pleased to announce that of the unallocated funding, $40 million will be directed towards boosting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in around 200 schools through the ‘Focus Schools’ program,” he said.
“This means that all 900 schools identified in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action plan will receive extra funding from the Gillard Government to boost literacy and numeracy results, engagement and attendance among indigenous students.”
Under the Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership, schools received funding to develop and trial a range of programs to help improve reading, writing and maths. Schools have been able to hire literacy and numeracy coaches; develop individual learning plans for students who need extra help; and purchase resources to assist students struggling with core skills.
“Around half a million students across the country are benefiting from funding provided through this partnership. Since 2008, many participating schools have improved the proportion of students performing above national minimum standards,” Mr Garrett said.
“We’ve also made available an additional $243 million over the next 18 months to advance the work that has already taken place.”
For more information on the Smarter Schools National Partnerships, visit www.smarterschools.gov.au.
30 May 2012