Literacy and Numeracy

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High risk students, Interviews, Literacy education, Numeracy, Secondary school students, Secondary school teachers, Surveys,


This study was commissioned by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). Additional resources are available at


An online survey and a series of interviews were focused on students in Years 7 to 9 who lack the foundational literacy and numeracy skills that are required to engage with a secondary curriculum, in schools where most students have these skills. These students are referred to throughout this report as struggling students. The students in scope are likely to struggle to engage in classes without significant differentiation on the part of classroom teachers, and the skill disparity may be so great that differentiating lessons for them is not feasible. The project sought to address 4 questions: What methods and/or assessments do schools use to identify students in this cohort? What frameworks do schools use to make decisions on how to support these students? What supports are provided? What confidence do school leaders and teachers have in the approaches currently used? This report provides an overview of the survey development, administration, and respondent demographics, and looks at the results of the survey for literacy and for numeracy. Additional detail and context provided by interview responses is included in the appropriate sections that discuss survey responses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Australian Education Research Organisation