Literacy and numeracy are foundations on which further learning is built. Achieving appropriate literacy and numeracy skills affects an individual’s success in school and throughout life. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) defines literacy and numeracy as follows:
Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen to languages in a way thatallows people to communicate with each other and make sense of the world.
Numeracy helps [people] use mathematics effectively to meet the general demands of day‐to‐day life at home, at work and in society generally
While Australian students are achieving good results in literacy and numeracy overall, a significant number are still failing to achieve minimum standards, particularly those from low socio‐economic status (low‐SES) communities and Indigenous students. In 2008, 19.6 per cent of Australian students were at or below the National Minimum Standard (NMS) in reading,and 18.7 per cent were at or below the NMS in numeracy. International data also shows that although Australian students ranked highly in literacy and numeracy skills compared to the rest of the world, Australian testing results have declined in reading (2000–2009) and mathematics (2003–2009).
The National Partnership Agreement on Literacy and Numeracy (Literacy and Numeracy National Partnership or LNNP) aims to apply the collective resources and efforts of the Australian Government, state and territory governments (states) and education sectors, to put in place the infrastructure and practices that will deliver sustained improvement in literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students, especially those who are falling behind.The LNNP also aims to accelerate progress towards the literacy and numeracy target set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to halve the gap between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous students’ achievement in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade.
Corporate Management Branch
Australian National Audit Office
19 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600