Liberal plan to boost literacy skills in regional children

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar
Member for Flinders Peter Treloar

The Liberal party recently launched its $9 million key education policy aimed at giving every South Australian child a strong foundation in literacy.

The ‘Literacy Guarantee’ has a major focus on students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties in regional South Australia.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said this was a vital issue.

“All too often regional and rural areas, such as those on the Eyre Peninsula, are not given adequate support to assist students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties,” he said.

“Students with dyslexia across South Australia should be adequately supported, no matter where they live, and as the local member I want to see these students and their parents receive all the support and resources that they need.”

The plan would include literary coaches with expertise in evidence based practice, such as phonics, and teaching students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties; phonics checks for all year 1 students; free dyslexia workshops for parents across the state; ‘Literacy Guarantee’ conferences with professional development opportunities for teachers; and working with non-government organisations to deliver evidence based on literacy and numeracy programs targeted at disadvantaged children in their early years before they got to school.

“Specific Learning Difficulties Association of South Australia – a leading South Australian non-government organisation that runs workshops helping parents of children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties – currently gets very limited support to hold these workshops in regional SA,” Mr Treloar said.

“I’m really pleased that under this policy, a Liberal government will deliver at least one of these parent dyslexia workshops here in Flinders every year – starting with a workshop in Port Lincoln in the first year after the election.”

State Liberal leader Steven Marshall said the plan was for students to access the best education system in Australia.

“With a strong foundation in literacy, everything else follows,” he said.

“Even the most conservative estimates show that more than one in 10 students struggle with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

“These students, who have persistent difficulty with reading and spelling, will benefit greatly from our ‘Literacy Guarantee’.”