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National literacy and leadership project reaches an important milestone

Wednesday, 07 October 2009


A nation-wide research project involving Edith Cowan University (ECU) will reach an important milestone this month as principals in 60 Australian schools begin the implementation of interventions designed to improve literacy in their schools.

Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) is a $2 million research project being conducted as part of the Australian Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Pilots in Low SES School Communities Initiative.

The project aims to develop a research-based program to enhance the leadership capabilities of primary school principals to improve literacy education in low socio-economic schools and indigenous communities in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Principals as Literacy Leaders is a pilot project, and if successful, will be implemented in schools across Australia to help progress towards the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) national literacy targets.

The project is a collaboration involving Edith Cowan University, Griffith University, the Australian Catholic University, the Australian Primary Principals Association and state and territory education authorities from the Government, Catholic and Independent school sectors.

The two-year project is being led at ECU by Professor Greg Robson, Head of the School of Education, along with Associate Professor Deslea Konza and Dr Graeme Lock.

Professor Robson says that children may suffer later in life without strong literacy skills.

"This is one way we can close the gap between high and low achieving students, schools and their communities," he says.

“If we can combine effective literacy teaching with strong leadership support for teachers we are convinced that improved learning can be sustained.”

So far, researchers at ECU’s Institute for Educational Research and Development have undertaken a review of research into effective leadership for learning, effective literacy teaching and ways of monitoring the impact of the program in the pilot schools.

The research team is currently working with principals to provide them with knowledge, skills and support materials to use in their schools.

They'll then be able to work with teachers, students and parents to foster effective literacy teaching and learning.

For more information about this project, visit

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