Literacy Taskforce Gets Down To Work

  • Wyatt Creech

The Government appointed Literacy Taskforce charged with providing advice on ways to ensure every child can read and write by the time they are 9 years old has started its hard graft, Education Minister Wyatt Creech announced today.

"The members of the Literacy Taskforce have met for the first time today and yesterday. I expect them to make their initial report to me by the end of March."

The Taskforce draws on the experience of academics, principals and teachers and other education experts.

"I am confident that the expertise on the Taskforce will ensure valuable and practical advice on how to lift reading and writing standards will be provided to the Government," Mr Creech said.

The Taskforce Terms of Reference cover:

advising how the literacy goal should be defined
advising how to measure progress towards the goal
identifying and providing information on effective initiatives to improve reading literacy and written language.
whether any extra curriculum support materials are needed
developing criteria for programmes and resources that can be access through the reading and maths proposals pool.

"The Literacy Taskforce is a key component in the measures to get all primary children reading and writing before the head off to secondary school," Mr Creech said.

Other measures include focusing the primary school curriculum to give priority to children being able to read, write and do maths; a special fund of $10.3 million to help schools pay for extra programmes to help those students having difficulties to learn to read, write and to understand maths; encouraging business and the community to get in behind actions to improve reading and maths.

Literacy Taskforce membership attached.


Associate Professor Stuart McNaughton Auckland University
Dr Libby Limbrick Auckland College of Education
Gail Loane Adviser, Waikato University (Thames based)
Gaye Byers Adviser, Kaikohe
Lois Thompson Literacy Specialist, Wellington
Henare Everitt Maori Publications Editor, Wellington
Mere Berryman Maori Education Facilitator, Tauranga
Cath RauMaori Education Consultant, Waikato
Noeline Skeet Principal - Manurewa South Primary
Linda Bendikson Principal - Nawton Primary, Hamilton
Garry de Thierry Principal - Malfroy Primary, Rotorua
Jenny Hodgkinson Principal - East Taieri Primary Dunedin
Annette Hill Principal - Wharenui Primary, Christchurch
Jan Baynes Teacher - Mt Cook Primary, Wellington
Helen Parsons Teacher - Lynmore Primary School, Rotorua
Terry Martin Resource Teacher of Reading - West Spreydon Primary, Christchurch
Feofanaiki Pocock Teacher - Mangere Central Primary, Auckland
Christine Fernyhough Chief Executive, The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation, Auckland
David WhalleyEducation Review Office, Auckland