Have you signed the Primary Reading Pledge?

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Learning Difficulties Australia, AUSPELD and the Five From Five project have together developed the Australian Primary Reading Pledge.

This seeks to reduce to near zero the number of children who finish primary school unable to read, by providing schools with an evidence-based, easy-to-implement framework for reading assessment and intervention.

Children attend primary school for seven years full-time, yet this year over 50,000 Australian students started secondary school with low literacy skills. This is not a surprise – about the same number of kids were struggling in Year 5 NAPLAN in 2018, but our system lacks effective, systematic follow-up, so they continue to struggle.

It’s time to stop teaching the habits of weak readers in the early years (three-cueing, incidental phonics, memorising high-frequency wordlists, etc) and give teachers the professional development, resources and leadership they need to teach these kids more successfully, persisting for as long as it takes.

You can read the Primary Reading Pledge’s plan to achieve this here, and show your support here.

Dr Jennifer Buckingham of the Five From Five project presented a free webinar for LDA about the Primary Reading Pledge last month, which is still available to view on YouTube, if you’d like more details:

The negative consequences of reading failure for both individuals and society are massive, and with the right intervention there are very few people who can’t learn to read. This is ultimately a social justice issue – kids whose parents can’t afford private tutors or therapists should not be left to fall through the literacy cracks.

I hope you’ll join me in signing the Primary Reading Pledge, and encourage others to do likewise. The list of signatories to date is on the signup page (just scroll down), if you want to check who has already signed. Schools can also sign the Pledge, so please bring it to the attention of school leaders you know.


One response to “Have you signed the Primary Reading Pledge?”

  1. muriel Neish says:

    Many years of scientific research have proven that phonetic based, reading and writing programs are the most effective. Initial and ongoing assessment, a phonics based structured program and intervention when required, ensures children are supported so they can attain a reading level necessary to enable them to successfully embark on their secondary education. Without the ability to read well children fail and drop out in their secondary years, resulting in many of our children not reaching their full potential. An unnecessary loss to the child and our community as a whole.
    If there is to be improvement in reading levels, teachers must be given the opportunity to learn about the latest scientific evidence proving how children learn to read and introduce them to the scientifically based reading programs that are available.

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