Liberals to tackle NAPLAN

THE Tasmanian Liberals have promised to employ 25 new literacy and numeracy specialists to boost the state's NAPLAN performance.

Opposition education spokesman Michael Ferguson said a Liberal government would commit $8.4 million over four years to provide one-to-one and small group assistance for children in years 7 to 9 who, according to NAPLAN testing, are falling behind.

Mr Ferguson said the specialists would be introduced by the end of the party's first term in government.

The announcement follows last year's recommendation from Grattan Institute School Education program director Ben Jensen that one specialist literacy and one specialist numeracy teacher in every Australian primary school would have a profound effect on struggling students.

Mr Ferguson said the ultimate goal was to boost Tasmania's NAPLAN performance to at least the national standard in reading, writing, maths and science.

"This program will employ a whole-of-school approach with the key focus being on the years most in need, as demonstrated by NAPLAN testing, years 7 to 9," he said.

"(The specialists) will also assist other teachers in the school to identify, develop and implement strategies to help students with learning difficulties, as well as educational materials that can be used in improving the literacy skills of all students in the classroom on a daily basis."

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