New England parent leaders have voiced their disapproval at the NSW Government’s decision to axe the Reading Recovery program in the state’s schools.
This week it was announced the $50 million program would be replaced by a team of 50 literacy and numeracy experts who will be recruited to support teachers after the program was deemed ineffective.
The program operated in 900 schools across the state and is based on early intervention for year one students struggling with literacy. Fairfax understands principals will still be able to run Reading Recovery from their own budgets.
New England P&C president Rachael Sowden disagreed with the decision.
“What a horrible thing to drop on a Sunday during the school holidays,” she said. “While Reading Recovery doesn’t work for every student, it certainly works for a lot,” she said.
“While the 50 new teachers they are going to employ are going to be from K-10 (kindergarten to year 10) they are not going to be on the ground until 2019.”
Dr Sowden said she was concerned about how 50 new teachers would be spread across 2200 of the state’s schools along with 70 new literacy and numeracy coordinators.
She also raised concerns about the impacts for year-10 students entering the HSC years and would need additional reading assistance to reach the standard to qualify but would not receive it due to the delayed roll- out.
“Where are these people going to be placed?” she said.
”Reading recovery does work for a lot of students, I have had a 50-50 hit rate with mine, it worked for one and it didn’t for another. It’s one of those programs that yes, it doesn’t work for all but nothing works for all kids really,” she said.