A new Turnbull Government-backed initiative will ensure educators around Australia have access to the latest teaching strategies and practical advice on how to support students with learning difficulties.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s $341,000 funding to DSF Literacy and Clinical Services in Western Australia would ensure the organisation’s new guide is freely available online across the country.

“This guide will give teachers from all backgrounds practical advice on how to identify and support the estimated five per cent of students who face challenges in the way they learn,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“The Turnbull Government’s funding means the combined knowledge of leading experts in educating students with learning difficulties will be contained in a free and easy-to-access guide.

“Ultimately by better equipping teachers with these skills and strategies this guide will ensure students around Australia can better manage and take advantage of their education opportunities.”

Minister Birmingham said the guide, Understanding Learning Difficulties, focuses on specific learning difficulties in dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (written expression) and dyscalculia (mathematics).

“It’s clear how important the guide is given that estimates suggest four out of five students with a developmental learning disability have dyslexia,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Understanding Learning Difficulties will give principals, teachers and school psychologists a deeper understanding of the significant impact learning disabilities can have on students.

“It’s a valuable addition to the tool kit of teachers dedicated to effectively supporting the diverse learning needs of their students.

“Every Australian child should be given the support they need at school to do their best. That’s why in this year’s Budget we committed a further $118.2 million over 2016 and 2017 for young people with disability. Our increased funding commitment for students with disability means the Turnbull Government is investing a record $5.3 billion from 2014 to 2017, exceeding the previous Labor government’s unfunded promises.

“Federal government funding for schools across Australia will grow from $16 billion in 2016 to $20.1 billion in 2020 and we will be working to ensure that funding is distributed fairly and according to need so that schools currently delivering valuable programs can continue to do so.”

Teachers can download the free resource through their state or territory education portal. Print copies of Understanding Learning Difficulties – A Practical Guide are also available for purchase.