How children learn to read is one of the most studied aspects of education. There is a large and rigorous body of scientific evidence identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction. The research literature also unequivocally shows that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching reading, especially for novice readers and children at-risk of reading failure. Unfortunately, these elements and methods are not consistently used in Australian classrooms, with many thousands of children failing to achieve even basic levels of literacy as a result. This report outlines the powerful research evidence on learning to read from the 1960s to 2015 and explains how having effective, evidence-based reading instruction in every classroom, every day can substantially improve literacy levels among Australian children.