Equity through literacy.
A literate Tasmania is an essential foundation for long-term economic and social renewal in Tasmania, with the potential to break down intergenerational and regional disadvantage and build social cohesion and resilience.
Intergenerational and regional disadvantage as well as lower education attainment among young people have been identified in numerous reports into the state of the Tasmania economy, and, most recently, in the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council (PESRAC) Interim Report as areas of current challenge in Tasmania.
Almost one in two Tasmanians of working age are functionally illiterate. Without functional literacy skills as an adult, an individual has difficulty engaging in the activities of daily life as well as in the broader economy and community, including meaningful employment. Not only do poor functional literacy skills have lifelong implications for individuals, but the consequences for the economy are also wide-reaching.
An urgent response, grounded in evidence, is warranted for Tasmania’s poor educational outcomes stemming from poor literacy skills.
The Alliance's plan for a Literate Tasmania sets out a clear road map for achieving sustainable social and economic improvements in Tasmania by increasing literacy; reading, writing, spelling and language comprehension across the developmental stages of life and adulthood.
The Tasmanian #100PercentLiteracy Alliance believes the efforts to improve literacy outcomes in Tasmania need to be much stronger, with a greater level of shared accountability between the public, private and community sectors and with a greater level of urgency.
The Alliance's road map outlines three over-arching strategies under a plan for a Literate Tasmania:
1. Develop a strategic, whole-of-government, community-wide framework to achieve a Literate Tasmania, including implementation.
This should be informed by an independent, expert advisory panel or Ministerial Taskforce (including whole-of-government, community wide stakeholders and leading experts from Tasmania and other jurisdictions) to:
map existing organisations, plans and resources to develop an integrated framework for a Literate Tasmania that links and leverages these strategies and resources;
undertake a peer review of existing policies and programs to identify any evidence of practice gaps, and programme or skills gaps as well as opportunities to redirect resources to more effective, impactful strategies; and
establish short- and medium-term measurable targets, aligned with the long-term goal for #100PercentLiteracy in Tasmania.
2. Adopt and implement as an immediate priority the recommendations of the Primary Reading Pledge and invest in the resources (human and physical) and capacity building required to achieve the goal of close to zero Tasmanians starting grade 7 at or below the national minimum standard (NMS) for reading by 2031.
3. Proactively support literacy improvement throughout the wider community, including in the early years (pre-school), secondary schooling, adult education, the justice system, and among other vulnerable Tasmanians.
This is in addition to strategies that target primary-school-aged children, because #100PercentLiteracy is wider than schools alone.
Read the full Roadmap below...
100% Literacy Alliance
On Thursday 25th of February 2021, the Tasmanian #100percentliteracy Alliance released a Road Map to a Literate Tasmania that calls on the Tasmanian Government to lead and prioritise the development and implementation of a plan to improve literacy for ALL Tasmanians.
Major Progress towards 100% Literacy for all Tasmanians
The Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance has today, 12 March 2021, welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s ambitious new target that by Year 7 all students will meet an expected reading ability that is above the national minimum standard, by no later than 2030, as set out in the Alliance’s Roadmap to a Literate Tasmania.
The Alliance submission to the Government's PAC Inquiry into the continuing response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the loss of learning and the critical need for action with respect to the return to school plan.
Introduction to the Tasmanian Literacy Alliance
Progress towards 100% Literacy for all Tasmanians - it's now critical!
The Tasmanian 100% Literacy Alliance are yet to see action on the Tasmanian Government’s target (announced in 2021) that by Year 7 all students will meet an expected reading ability that is above the national minimum standard, by no later than 2030, as set out in the Alliance’s Roadmap to a Literate Tasmania.
Interview with Saul: Almost 1 in 2 adults are functionally illiterate. This is the plan to rectify this.
The aspirational target for #100percentliteracy for Tasmania was set by a collective group of resolute Tasmanians in 2018 following the inaugural Communicating: the Heart of Literacy Symposium.
The Tasmanian #100percentliteracy Alliance was established in 2020 with three objectives:
to tell it like it is, sharing stories of the everyday experiences for people with literacy challenges, to make change and have an impact;
to chart the evidence-based pathway required to change the way in which literacy skills are learned and taught; and
to communicate the scientific basis for reading instruction and policy change through direct advocacy with key decision-makers and influencers.
Saul Eslake, Economist, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania
Amelia Jones, Chair, Square Pegs Dyslexia Association
Rosalie Martin, Speech and Language Pathologist, 2017 Tasmanian of the Year
Rikki Mawad, Chair, Connect 42
Michael Rowan, Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia, Co-founder Tasmanian Education Ambassadors
Anthea Pritchard, Co-founder, Tasmanian Leaders Program
Becky Shelley, Deputy Director, Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment, University of Tasmania