While you’re here… help us stay here.

Are you enjoying open access to policy and research published by a broad range of organisations? Please donate today so that we can continue to provide this service.

Report cover

Supporting students significantly behind in literacy and numeracy

A review of evidence-based approaches
Literacy Secondary education Numeracy

In Australia, a substantial proportion of students start secondary school with literacy and numeracy skills that are 3 or more years below those of their peers (ACARA 2021). Evidence suggests that low literacy and numeracy skills hinder students’ access to the curriculum (Shinn et al. 2016) and can result in poor progress or educational failure. These students are also more likely to face poor outcomes post-school, such as in their health and employment (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020).

A large body of research has been conducted on literacy and numeracy instruction and interventions for primary school-aged students, as fundamental skills in these domains are generally taught as part of the primary school curriculum. However, less is known about the applicability or effectiveness of interventions for older students who have not mastered these foundational literacy or numeracy skills. Questions also remain about the feasibility of implementing literacy and numeracy interventions within secondary schools, where teachers are typically less familiar with teaching these basic skills and where scheduling constraints exist. In this report, the findings of an umbrella review to address these gaps in knowledge is presented.

Publication Details
License type:
Access Rights Type: