Government numeracy and literacy initiative welcomed

THE Early Childhood Teachers Association has welcomed the Queensland Government's numeracy and literacy initiative as long as it remained at the discretion of teachers on how best to use it.

The Early Start kit was launched on Wednesday (Nov 27) and aims to improve literacy and numeracy skills of Prep to Year 2 students across the state.

It will be made available to all state primary schools, special schools and schools of distance education in time for the start of the new school year.

The process involves teachers spending one-on-one time with new Prep students to determine their individual circumstances and tailor teaching to meet their needs.

Childhood Teachers Association president Kim Walters said the Gympie-based organisation was concerned teachers would be made to implement the time-consuming initiative.

"It is an optional resource, which will be available, so we would like to see teachers be given that option," she said.

"We would not like to see teachers pressured into using it.

"The education department has made it very clear it is an optional resource that can be used as teachers see fit."

Mrs Walters said the organisation, which was part of the Early Start consultation group, had concerns surrounding whether schools whose teachers use the kit would be additionally funded.

"It is a very time-consuming process. It will more than one hour per student," she said.

"That is why we would like to see it be a teacher-based, not a school-based decision.

"And as long as it does not impact any other resources the school is offering."

Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the kit was not designed to grade or compare students, but to help teachers and schools determine the best way to develop each child's literacy and numeracy skills.

"The new Early Start kits are just one of the many initiatives that will help the great teachers around Queensland to boost student literacy and numeracy outcomes in our schools," he said.

"It is an optional resource, with schools being able to decide whether it will support teaching and learning activities already in place."



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