Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

25 March 2021

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training

Improving literacy to secure Tasmania’s future

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is committed to improving literacy rates in Tasmania, as we recognise the importance of literacy for further learning, future employment, health and wellbeing.

I am pleased to announce that a specific target has now been set, and that by the end of year 6 all children will be expected to achieve a standard of 118 on the PAT reading test

The ACER Progressive Achievement Test (PAT) will be used throughout primary school to ensure that by 2029 all students, who are eligible to sit NAPLAN, will be able to read above the NAPLAN National Minimum Standard before they enter year 7.

PAT is a nationally recognised reading assessment which is used across multiple Australian States and territories, and unlike NAPLAN is available to the teacher immediately after the assessment.

Students who don’t currently sit NAPLAN because they have very specific learning needs will be supported to continue to work towards the goals on their individual learning plan, and where possible they will be working towards the new target.

Regardless of where a student is at in their learning, we want to see a year’s growth for every learner, every year.

The implementation of the Government’s Literacy Framework and Plan for Action is providing a strong foundation and clear direction for improving literacy outcomes for Tasmanian learners.

Having a shared goal, for which we are all accountable, is an important next step.

Providing teachers with information, training, programs and ongoing professional learning reflects best practice and that is why a range of supports will be available to ensure the new literacy targets are met by our learners.

Catholic Education Tasmanian and Independent Schools Tasmania are supportive of this important initiative and both sectors are steadfastly committed to join us in reaching the literacy targets for their students.

If we are to achieve our aspirational goal for all Tasmanians to be functionally literate, we know that we need to look beyond our schools and our teachers to create a truly whole of community approach to raising our literacy levels.  

We must all work together across government, industry and community, which is why we are establishing of an expert Literacy Advisory Panel to oversee the development of a community-wide framework to achieve a Literate Tasmania.

This whole of community approach offers a new way of tackling a longstanding issue and will go a long way to improving the literacy levels of Tasmanians now and into the future.

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