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NSW Council of Deans of Education (NSWCDE) Welcomes New Literacy and Numeracy Tests for Initial Teacher Education

  • The new test is one important aspect of NSW university-wide commitment to ensuring continuing high standards for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs
  • NSW teacher education institutions and hundreds of students have been heavily involved in the research, development, benchmarking, and test trials over the past three years.
  • The test will ensure that all teacher education students demonstrate they have literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to the top 30% of the Australian population.

12 February, 2015

The NSW Council of Deans of Education (NSWCDE) welcomes the new Literacy and Numeracy Test for teacher education students as it will continue to improve high quality initial teacher education (ITE) programs and their graduates in NSW.

Future students undertaking the test will need to show they have the literacy and numeracy skill levels of the top 30% of the population.

However the test will not be an “exit test” or another disconnected administrative hurdle for graduates, as has been the case in other countries. Instead it will be one of the requirements for teacher education students starting their final professional experience placements in schools.

NSWCDE supports the implementation of this test provided that it is properly funded, is supportive of students’ ongoing professional development, and is accessible to all student teachers.

The Council recommends further development so students can securely complete the test on their own mobile devices, as 25% of NSW ITE students now study online (Online Initial Teacher Education in NSW, BOSTES – Quality Teaching Council, 2014 )and most universities do not have computer labs suitable for testing.

NSWCDE and NSW ITE providers have been heavily involved in developing the test in order to ensure it meets the highest standards for rigorous research, accurate benchmarking, and responsible trialling.

In 2014, hundreds of students from most NSW ITE institutions were involved in trials to test if content, format, and administration procedures were fair and would yield useful and accurate data.

Expert advisory groups for the test included NSWCDE President and Head of the UNSW School of Education, Professor Chris Davison, who focused on literacy and the Head of the UTS School of Education, Professor Peter Aubusson on the Numeracy Expert Group.

NSWCDE is confident that the Literacy and Numeracy Test will complement the NSWCDE’s current delivery of high-quality programs that develop student knowledge and skills and properly equip graduates for the demanding, rewarding, and professional workforce of 21st century teachers.

What: NSWCDE supports the Literacy and Numeracy tests for pre-service teachers

When: Approved now for students graduating in 2016

Where: NSW Initial Teacher Education programs

For more information contact: Professor Chris Davison, President, NSWCDE/Head, UNSW School of Education (

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