26TEN and the Education Sector

26TEN aims for all Tasmanians to have the literacy and numeracy skills they need for life. We also aim for those who already have good reading, writing and maths skills to be able to support others. The education sector is where we can promote these aims to a wide audience with most Tasmanians engaging with this sector at some points in their lives and for extended periods. 

Working collaboratively with educational leaders, researchers, peak bodies, schools, child and family centres, and government organisations, gives us our best chance of solving the long-term problem of adult literacy.  

We provide tools and resources that show teachers and staff how to offer practical support to parents, carers and others in their communities who lack skills. We also raise awareness and provide training in the importance of using plain English when writing information for parents and carers.  

The role of schools, parents and carers in adult literacy

Parents and carers play a vital role in their children’s education. Children are watching, listening and learning from the time they are born. For some parents, supporting their children’s learning is a real challenge because their own reading, writing and maths skills are not as good as they would like them to be. 

That’s why it is so important we all support parents to get help with their reading, writing and maths skills, and give them the confidence to support their children to learn. In this way everybody benefits.

The value of plain English 

26TEN not only promotes the importance of clear communication for schools when they write notes, reports and newsletters for parents, but we also provide training. By using plain English, teachers and school administrators can increase understanding and improve responses to the information they share. 

26TEN has developed a free 2-hour plain English workshop on writing student reports that can be delivered in schools at their request. We also have a free 3.5 hour workshop that covers the basic principles of plain English and includes practical exercises that can be tailored to an organisations requirements. For more information visit our Workshops web page or

How 26TEN works with the education sector

26TEN Coalition member, Malcolm Wells, represents the education sector on the 26TEN Coalition. He has over 34 years of experience in the sector and is well-known and respected. 

Malcolm regularly meets with senior educators and key educational organisations around the state to raise awareness of literacy and to discuss what contribution they can make to support Tasmanian families. 

Examples of actions include: 
  • Ongoing liaison with key educational organisations including the Department of Education, TasTAFE, The Tasmanian Principals Association, Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations and those representing non-government schools including the Independent Schools Association and Catholic Education Office. 
  • Developed and currently promoting the 26TEN Chat, a five-step guide to having a conversation with someone that a teacher, administrator or carer has noticed struggling with literacy or numeracy and referring them to literacy support. 
  • Ensured staff in Child and Family Centres have the information they need to refer clients for literacy support
  • Provided free plain English training to staff at the Department of Education
  • Collaborated with TasTAFE and other members of the VET sector to ensure support for Foundation Skills training and to implement the 26TEN Chat 
  • Worked with the B4 Coalition to support better outcomes for families with children aged 0-4. 
For more information contact 26TEN at