Making sure young children have the essential skills for future literacy and numeracy development at school is vitally important.
Under a State Government initiative to start in 2010, the foundation literacy and numeracy skills of all pre-primary students in public schools will be assessed. The diagnostic assessment tools will support teachers’ professional judgements and help them develop their teaching and learning programs.
The assessments are part of a comprehensive strategy to improve literacy and numeracy standards in Western Australian public schools which I announced in February this year. Assessing all students early in their schooling means that those at risk in critical aspects of literacy and numeracy can be identified and appropriate action can be taken straight away. Informing parents at an early stage will also help to strengthen partnerships between parents and teachers.
Introduction of the assessments responds to recommendations of the Literacy and numeracy review (Louden, 2006) and is consistent with the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) agreement for states/territories to implement a diagnostic tool to identify students who may be at educational risk.