Policy last updated
26 September 2023
This policy supports schools in implementing the Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support (MYLNS) initiative.
- The MYLNS initiative provides intensive teaching support to students in Year 10 in government secondary schools who are at risk of finishing school without the literacy and numeracy skills they need for future work and study.
- Funding is provided for schools to release teachers as numeracy and/or literacy improvement teachers to work directly with MYLNS students.
- Funding is available to all government schools with Year 10 students, except for select entry, camp, language, and specialist schools.
- Each year, schools must advise the department’s MYLNS implementation team of their nominated improvement teacher/s via the .
- Schools should ensure all students receiving MYLNS initiative support are tagged in CASES21 and reviewed each term.
- Schools are encouraged to use the assessment tools developed for the MYLNS initiative.
- For information about the role of MYLNS improvement teachers, identification of students for MYLNS support, and approaches to supporting MYLNS students including assessment, refer to the .
- Resources for schools are available on the .
The MYLNS initiative supports students as they determine their senior secondary pathways and helps prepare them to achieve their goals related to future work, education or training. Interventions at Year 10 are critical to ensure students have the foundational literacy and numeracy skills necessary for them to be able to complete senior secondary education.
The MYLNS initiative enables government secondary schools to release experienced teachers as numeracy and/or literacy improvement teachers to work directly with Year 10 students who are at risk of finishing school without the literacy and numeracy skills they need for future work and study.
The MYLNS initiative seeks to support and build on the work that schools are already doing to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for all students, by providing additional teaching support to MYLNS students as part of a whole-school approach.
MYLNS plays an important role in a school’s teaching and learning program. Using a Response to Intervention framework, MYLNS is categorised as a Tier 3 support, where an intensive intervention is provided for MYLNS students.
Response to Intervention framework
The Response to Intervention framework is as follows.
Tier 3 (Individual)
Intensive interventions for students needing additional support to access the curriculum. Evidence-based intervention is provided individually or in very small groups by an Improvement Teacher.
Tier 2 (Small group)
Supplemental intervention for some students. Delivered in small groups by an Improvement Teacher.
Students are provided with the support they need to succeed in a general education classroom.
Tier 1 (Whole-school)
Teachers have professional learning opportunities to design whole-class instruction that meets the needs of as many students as possible. With the support of school leaders and instructional leaders (such as Improvement Teachers), teachers gather evidence about which students are responding to Tier 1 instruction and which students need additional support.
The framework is presented as a 3-tiered pyramid with Tier 3 at the top, Tier 2 in the middle and Tier 1 at the bottom.
Students in Year 10 who were below the National Minimum Standard in reading and/or numeracy in the previous year’s NAPLAN. Year 10 students exempt from the previous year’s reading and/or numeracy NAPLAN are also included in the MYLNS initiative. If there is capacity, schools should identify additional Year 10 students based on a combination of data including school-based assessments, teacher judgement data, and behavioural and attendance records.
Improvement teachers are experienced teachers within a school who are provided with time release to deliver literacy and/or numeracy direct teaching support to MYLNS students.
Role of MYLNS improvement teachers
Role of MYLNS improvement teachers
MYLNS improvement teachers:
- identify Year 10 students to receive MYLNS support
- set, document, and monitor goals for prioritised MYLNS students
- implement evidence-based, high-impact teaching strategies to progress learning in literacy and/or numeracy
- regularly evaluate learning progress via formative assessments (further information on the tailored MYLNS initiative assessment tool can be found on the tab).
Lessons learnt from MYLNS implementation so far show that effective improvement teachers demonstrate:
- a growth mindset
- curriculum and pedagogical knowledge to target students’ learning needs and differentiate teaching to support students at their point of need
- the ability to build positive learning relationships with students and colleagues.
Schools are allocated a minimum of 0.2 FTE for direct student support in literacy and 0.2 FTE for direct support in numeracy. This allocation increases based on the number of prioritised students.
Improvement teachers are required to be experienced classroom teachers. This role requires expert curriculum and pedagogical knowledge and should not be filled by less-experienced teachers or education support staff.
A school may choose to appoint their existing learning specialist, literacy leader or numeracy leader as their improvement teacher. Other schools will choose to allocate these roles to different staff members to build an integrated team approach and to champion literacy and numeracy improvement across their school.
If a learning specialist is appointed to the role, they will be required to manage their improvement teacher responsibilities (including by an increased focus on prioritised students) as well as their responsibilities as a learning specialist.
To ensure continuity for students and for the initiative, it is recommended that schools continue to keep the same improvement teacher for a minimum of 2 years (unless they do not meet the requirements of the role). Evidence shows that at least 2 years is necessary to have maximum impact in the role.
Identification of students for MYLNS support
Identification of students for MYLNS support
Students identified as having achieved below National Minimum Standard or who were exempt in reading and/or numeracy as per their Year 9 NAPLAN results will be automatically tagged in CASES21.
Schools can choose to select additional Year 10 students who may benefit from MYLNS initiative support, following an evidence-based, collaborative process involving school leaders and relevant staff.
In determining additional Year 10 students to receive MYLNS initiative support, schools should:
- triangulate student learning data from multiple sources
- consider vulnerable and disengaged students who may benefit from literacy and/or numeracy intervention, including students with low or non-attendance or for whom there is little formal learning data
- consult with other workforces that support priority cohorts, where needed, to design wrap-around support for learners
- consider the use of other funding sources, where appropriate, to support complementary interventions and expand the delivery of the MYLNS initiative to support additional students.
Schools should ensure all students receiving MYLNS initiative support are tagged in CASES21 and reviewed each term.
Approach to supporting MYLNS students
Approach to supporting MYLNS students
When considering how support may be provided for MYLNS students, improvement teachers should consider:
- the particular learning needs of the students
- the evidence with respect to interventions that could be implemented
- the time allocation to work with students
- each prioritised student’s timetable and the classes they are enrolled in.
MYLNS improvement teachers have the flexibility to support MYLNS students through:
- individual student support, such as withdrawing a student from class and working 1:1 with them
- in class co-teaching, such as:
- teaching a segment of the lesson
- providing in-class support for prioritised students
- small group work.
The following MYLNS case studies can be used by improvement teachers when deciding on an intervention approach.
Working with individual students
A numeracy improvement teacher has worked with the school improvement team (including the numeracy leader and learning specialist) to analyse a wide range of evidence of a prioritised student’s learning in numeracy. They realise that the student has a gap in their understanding of place value and decimals that is impacting their achievement in mathematics as well as in science.
After meeting with the student to build a relationship and to further understand their learning needs, the numeracy improvement teacher learns that the student feels frustrated with this gap in their learning and would like to receive targeted support to address it. The numeracy improvement teacher plans to work with the student individually prior to their maths class for 20 minutes, 3 times per week. The numeracy improvement teacher monitors the student’s learning each session, and helps the students master this key element of numeracy.
Working with a small group in class
A Humanities class is working in small groups. One group is with the classroom teacher, one group is working independently, and one group is with a literacy improvement teacher.
The literacy improvement teacher is working with a small group of prioritised students, plus a few of their peers who the classroom teacher thought could use additional support.
The literacy improvement teacher is guiding their group through a year-level text by pre-teaching key vocabulary and modelling through a ‘think-aloud’ on how students will make sense of the text. The literacy improvement teacher then checks in with students about their understanding during and after reading.
Pre-teaching key concepts
A numeracy improvement teacher meets regularly with small groups of students to preview the concepts that are coming up in their Mathematics classes.
The numeracy improvement teacher coordinates with the regular classroom teachers to know the language they are planning to use to teach the concepts, along with the learning intentions and success criteria for the unit. This ensures that students can be prepared to access the mathematics content.
Assessments for MYLNS students
Assessments for MYLNS students
MYLNS Assessment Tool
The MYLNS assessment tool is open for teachers to use with their students in Term 1 and Term 4. The 2023 testing window dates are 13 March – 7 April and 13 November – 1 December.
The MYLNS assessment tool is available on the and includes separate assessments of literacy and numeracy, designed specifically for Year 10 students who achieved below the National Minimum Standard in Reading and/or Numeracy in their Year 9 NAPLAN results:
- MYLNS Assessment for literacy support students (literacy assessments) – covers the Reading and Viewing mode of the English Curriculum Levels 5-9, including the Language, Literature and Literacy strands
- MYLNS Assessment for numeracy support students (numeracy assessments) – covers all aspects of the Mathematics Curriculum Levels 5-9, including the Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability strands.
The MYLNS assessment tool provides teachers with a report indicating the student’s level of curriculum achievement. Teachers are encouraged to use this tool to both identify student point of need and measure learning achievement at the start and at the conclusion of their participation in the MYLNS initiative.
MYLNS Student Engagement Tool
The MYLNS Student Engagement Tool (SET) is comprised of 2 surveys (one for mathematics and one for reading) measuring students’ perceptions of, and engagement in, their learning in literacy or numeracy throughout the MYLNS initiative.
The department recommends that the survey is completed at least twice a year with students for teachers to gain insights over time.
The SET provides valuable insights for the improvement teacher, enabling them to identity each student's attitudes or beliefs about their academic achievement, personal capabilities and engagement, and how their students are responding to their inclusion in the initiative.
Improvement teachers can use the SET to identify patterns or consistencies in the domains included in the survey, at an individual level and across the MYLNS initiative cohort. Results can be compared with other available data sets that support student engagement, such as the Attitudes to School Survey.
The SET is available for use throughout the school year. Improvement Teachers can access the SET via their school’s account. Schools can contact the MYLNS inbox () with any queries regarding accessing the SET.
Student achievement managers
Student achievement managers (SAMs) are located in the department’s regional offices and are the first point of contact for schools.
SAMs work with schools to:
- support the implementation of the MYLNS initiative by working proactively with schools, networks, principals and their teams to build capacity in literacy and numeracy intervention.
- support the collection of data to monitor and evaluate the success of the initiative.
- facilitate communities of practice (CoPs) within the school network to share practice approaches and discuss challenges.
- facilitate access to professional learning as required.
Professional learning is also provided via the . Improvement Teachers are provided with access to the LMS when they are first nominated by their school. Improvement Teachers can contact the MYLNS inbox () with any queries regarding accessing the LMS.
Further information on MYLNS-specific assessment resources is provided in the guidance section.
Literacy and mathematics teaching toolkits
Literacy and mathematics teaching toolkits provide practical advice and high impact teaching practices that improve outcomes in numeracy and mathematics, reading, writing, and speaking and listening.
Learning difficulties information guides
The learning difficulties information guides are a foundation for understanding learning difficulties in numeracy and literacy. These guides can assist school leaders and teachers to understand more about the needs of students with learning difficulties.
Literacy and numeracy for Koorie students
The department provides a range of resources to support literacy and English for Koorie students. These include:
- Koorie English online
- school leadership guides
- the Koorie Literacy and Numeracy Program
- teaching and learning videos to improve Koorie students’ reading comprehension
English as an additional language
English as an additional language (EAL) resources are available to support teachers with students of EAL background develop proficiency in English and/or access the MYLNS LMS and undertake the professional learning on supporting CALD students.
Digital Assessment Library
The Digital Assessment Library (DAL) is an online and on demand student learning assessment tool that is freely available from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). It provides timely and detailed information on individual student performance. The DAL contains assessments that are aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and include English, Mathematics and Critical and Creative Thinking strands.
Other relevant resources
Reviewed 17 August 2020