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The way children are taught to read in Victoria is about to change

Students from prep to grade 2 will be taught using structured phonics as part of a new explicit teaching approach to be rolled out across all Victorian public schools which could end the long-running reading wars.

Education Minister Ben Carroll will announce the system-wide move at The Age’s Schools Summit on Thursday.


The policy mandates that all Victorian government schools teach the same type of reading lessons brd on systematic synthetic phonics, a move away from a system which allowed principals to choose their own approach.

It also requires the use of explicit instruction across all schools in Victoria, one of the final states and territories to adopt the change.

Under the new model, students from prep to grade 2 will be taught using a structured phonics approach, with a minimum of 25 minutes of daily, explicit teaching of phonics and phonemic awareness.


Experts say Carroll’s announcement is significant but needs to come with the correct assessments, accountability, professional learning and compliance to ensure returns.

The move follows improvements for individual schools in all sectors that have already made the shift. Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools adopted direct instruction for its 300 schools in February.


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