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“Every Child a Reader” Manifesto

As many of you know, last Sunday 20th March, Learning Difficulties Australia “Success for All Learners:  Multi-Tiered Systems of Support” conference was held. We were lucky enough to have the incredible Jackie French as our panel chair at the end of the day.  Jackie is known for her passionate advocacy for literacy as is made clear on the “Rights of the Child Reader” page of her website. At the end of the day, Jackie pleaded for us as an organisation, and for all teachers and other educational professionals, to submit a manifesto to those with the power to enforce change to do more to ensure that every child had the opportunity to be a successful reader. With a federal election looming, we want to put this on the agenda of every politician. 

As you all know, this is something that LDA is also passionate about. Our Constitution states that the purposes of the organisation are:

2.3 To support and promote scientific evidence-based research that will advance understanding of the theory and evidence underlying effective teaching practice for students with learning difficulties.

2.5 To advocate for improved services to students experiencing difficulties with learning through advice to relevant organisations and submissions to government bodies. 

Although the Constitution specifies the support for students with learning difficulties, it is of course our aim that ALL students receive instruction that is evidence-based, explicit and gives students the best possible chance of success at reading. We believe reading success is possible for all students, regardless of when they start to learn or what their needs may be.

So, in response to Jackie’s plea and in line with our Constitution, we are out to make a change. We are undertaking the creation of a manifesto and would like to extend an invitation to all of you to submit your contributions. Jackie has most generously offered to edit the contributions made to the manifesto, and this will be submitted to the politicians who are in a position to effect this change.

Therefore our questions to you are:

  • Relating to literacy education, what would you like to see change?
  • What would you like to see happen in every classroom in every school?
  • What needs to be put in place to ensure every child gets proper evidence-based instruction in reading?

We would love to receive your contributions to this project. We are working on a tight timeframe, so if you would like to make a contribution, please email enquiries@ldaustralia.org by COB Wednesday 30th March.

Once the manifesto is complete, we will upload it to our website. Please feel free to share this information with any other educational professionals you know who may want to contribute. There are so many of you on the ground who understand what is needed, and it is your voice that we want to be heard.

We look forward to reading your submissions and to providing you with the finished work.

Kind regards,

Robyn Wheldall

Learning Difficulties Australia