Regional and rural students receive more reading help

Regional and rural school students have improved opportunities to address their reading skills following changes to the operation of the NSW Centre for Effective Reading in Manly.

The Centre, formerly Dalwood Assessment Centre and Palm Avenue School, addresses complex reading difficulties faced by some rural NSW primary school students.

Key changes include:

  • reinstating the four-week residential program
  • establishing a new steering committee
  • opening up the eligibility criteria, making the centre's expertise available to more than 950 government and non-government rural primary schools.

Intensive education clinics

Education minister Adrian Piccoli said the introduction of intensive education clinics will give students and parents time to work with specialist staff and new technologies to better understand and manage long-term reading challenges.

"The first five-day clinic took place earlier this month, the second, for four Year 6 students, started on Monday this week, and the first four-week program begins in late July," Mr Piccoli said.

"Building on the five-day program, the five-week clinic brings together students, parents and centre staff for the first week, after which students on their own receive three weeks of intensive reading instruction and strategies for building self-esteem."

Students and their schools also receive up to two terms of ongoing support from the centre, which also monitors their progress for at least of 12 months.

Steering committee

The steering committee is chaired by Professor Anne Castle, director of the Centre for Cognitive Science at Macquarie University, and includes representatives of:

  • The Isolated Country Parents' Association and Royal Far West, who represent the needs of country families and their children attending government and non-government schools
  • The Sydney Children's Hospital Network
  • The NSW Centre for Effective Reading
  • NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc.
  • Catholic Education Commission NSW
  • Association of Independent Schools of NSW
  • NSW Teachers Federation.

More than 270 students from rural NSW are expected to be supported through the centre this year.


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