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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 5 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1777 ..

Thursday, 16 May 2019

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


The following petition was lodged for presentation:

Students with learning difficulties—petition 13-19

By Ms Lee, from 1 resident:

To the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory

This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly that:


on the 21st of August 2012, Petition No 138 with 625 signatures was tabled at the ACT Legislative Assembly.


A subsequent Taskforce on Students with Learning Difficulties produced a report and forwarded to the then Education Minister Ms Joy Burch MLA


All recommendations were agreed and implementation of the recommendations commenced but were short lived.


In 2019 appropriate evidence based literacy instruction, identification and interventions are still greatly lacking for students with difficulties in learning to read, including dyslexia (a specific learning difficulty) in many ACT schools.

Your petitioners therefore, request the Assembly to:

bring to the attention of the ACT Minister for Education, Ms Yvette Berry MLA and Shadow ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood·Development, Ms Elizabeth Lee MLA, the need to recognise that students with difficulties learning to read, including those with dyslexia, are still disadvantaged in ACT Schools and that changes are needed to address the disadvantage and discrimination these students face.

Such changes to include:

1. Implementation of evidence-based literacy instruction in all ACT schools;

2. Explicit, systematic synthetic phonics instruction as part of the Five Keys to reading (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary & Comprehension) which has been proven to ·be the most effective learning system.

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