Year One school children will now be required to undergo testing to better understand their grasp of numeracy and literacy.

It’s part of a Federal funding condition under the Gonski 2.0 reforms.

Laura English reports.


The Education Minister Simon Birmingham joined a class of students at Windsor State School.

He explained that a one-on-one ‘soft test’ will happen at the beginning of the school year.

It’s designed to help teachers gauge a student’s understanding and knowledge.

Simon Birmingham, Fed. Education Minister: “That ensures students are learning to read properly, that they’re developing the skills to identify phonetic sounds, to make sure they can decode words and to understand basic numeracy.”

The phonic testing system is based on the UK’s model, which was initially recommended in 2005.

Simon Birmingham, Fed. Education Minister: “In the UK they’ve seen a real lift over the years of its implementation, in terms of students developing those phonic skills.”

Mr Birmingham says it’s nothing like a NAPLAN test and is designed to identify children who may need more help or assistance.

Not everyone is on board with the government’s reforms.

The Queensland Teachers Union are saying phonic testing is nothing new and teachers are already doing this at the beginning of each school year.

So the plan doesn’t have union support.

Sam Pidgeon, Qld Teachers Union: “We are very concerned at the potential for this new test announced by Minister Birmingham to blow out of proportion the way that NAPLAN has.”

The Minister hasn’t confirmed if the changes will be implemented next year.

Laura English, QUT News.