Legistrative Council E-Petitions

E-petition Number
Mandatory Phonics Screening Check for Year 1 students
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of Victoria draws to the attention of the Legislative Council that a Phonics Screening Check (PSC) should be mandatory for all Year 1 Victorian school students.

In 2020, the Federal Government invested $10.8 million into a voluntary, free PSC check for all Year 1 students in Australian schools, available from the online Literacy Hub. Modelled from England’s PSC, it is a short assessment that enables teachers to measure how well students are learning to decode and blend letters into sounds. Isolating and blending sounds is a critical foundation for mastering reading and writing in the English language.

Data from England’s assessment titled, National Curriculum Assessment at Key Stage 2 in England, 2019 (provisional), demonstrated that 85 per cent of pupils who reached the phonics standard in Year 1, went on to meet the reading comprehension standard in their Year 6 English reading test. This illustrates that improving children’s decoding skills ‘pays forward’ to reading achievement in the later years of school.

Extensive research, such as that conducted by Dr Kerry Hempenstall, shows that a systematic approach to teaching synthetic phonics ensures that children are given a strong foundation for literacy development. All Victorian primary school educators should be encouraged and supported extensively to use a systematic and synthetic phonics approach when teaching reading and writing.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Department of Education and Training to invest in the future of Victorian children by mandating the Phonics Screening Check for Year 1 students in all Victorian schools.
Closing Date
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Dr Matthew Bach