Instructional Leadership: Leading a Whole School Approach to Literacy and Numeracy Improvement

Innovation; Research
Instructional Leadership: Leading a Whole School Approach to Literacy and Numeracy Improvement
According to Viviane Robinson (2007), the more leaders focus on the core business of teaching and learning, the greater their influence on student outcomes.   She suggests that leadership theory, research and practice needs to be closely linked to research on effective teaching, so that leaders can support teachers in using pedagogical practices that raise achievement and reduce disparity.
The Towards Victoria as a Learning Community (TVLC) position paper sets out school-based reforms targeting universal excellence to improve the life chances of all young Victorians.  TVLC identifies teaching and school leadership as the key in-school determinants of student learning.
Victoria’s approach to the Improving Literacy and Numeracy National Partnerships (ILNNP) aims to improve outcomes for targeted cohorts who are falling behind in literacy and/or numeracy, through a renewed focus on teacher practice and instructional leadership.
The 2013 Victorian approaches for the ILNNP are the:

  • Primary Mathematics Specialists and Coaching Initiatives

  • Bastow courses - Leading Literacy and Leading Numeracy

  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) Science Language and Literacy Pilot Project

  • Literacy and Numeracy Pilot in Low Socio-Economic Status (SES) School Communities (2009–2010)

  • Victorian Principals Association’s Principals As Literacy Leaders (PALL) program.


In addition, the ILNNP has established a national Teach, Learn, Share database to support school leaders to influence what Robinson terms “… practices that matter”.  This database includes descriptions of successful literacy and numeracy initiatives being delivered in a diverse range of school settings.  These initiatives have been assessed against standards of evidence by experienced literacy and numeracy educators and researchers.
Links to relevant research in the areas of literacy and numeracy are also provided on the Teach, Learn, Share database.  A number of Victorian approaches to literacy and numeracy improvement are detailed, including large-scale pilots and initiatives implemented and evaluated through the Smarter Schools National Partnerships.
The Teach, Learn, Share website is currently seeking new submissions.  Go to www.teachlearnshare.gov.au to read about the evidence-based literacy and numeracy strategies that work in Australian schools, or to tell others about your own best-practice approaches.  The next submission round closes late next month so now is the time to start preparing your submission.