FAQs For Parents

This section is for parents and guardians of students selected to be on the QuickSmart program by the child’s school, plus those of students selected to be Comparison students.

My child has been selected do undertake QuickSmart at their school. What does this mean?

Click to view answer

QuickSmart has two different programs; one for Numeracy and one for Literacy. You child may be partaking in one or both of these. They are basic-skills intervention programs aimed at students between Years 4 and 9. The most important thing to remember is that QuickSmart is not for “dumb kids” – it is just for children who find some aspects of numeracy and/or literacy difficult, and need a helping hand outside of the classroom.

Your child’s school has identified that your child may benefit from learning intervention in either numeracy and/or literacy. There are several reasons your child may be chosen: their skills are below what would normally be expected, their results may be slipping and they’re placed on intervention to stop any further decline, they may have gaps in their learning due to illness, absence or other reason, only to name a few.

The standard implementation of QuickSmart at a school is three thirty-minute lessons every week. We encourage schools to timetable the QuickSmart lessons so that the students don’t miss the same class for every QuickSmart lesson. The lessons continue for about thirty weeks over the year, with ninety lessons being the goal. Thee aim is for the children to improve their results, so that they can function independently in the classroom.

My child has been selected as a QuickSmart comparison student. What does this mean?

Click to view answer

QuickSmart is a basic-skills intervention program for students in Years 4 to 9. There are two programs available: Numeracy and Literacy. These programs are for children who find some aspects of numeracy and/or literacy difficult and need a helping hand outside of the classroom.

As a comparison student, your child has been selected as representing students who do not need intervention in the aforementioned areas. Comparison students are used as a standard against which the students on the program are measured. They will undergo the same QBSA (OZCAAS) and PAT pre- and post-testing as the QuickSmart students, but not attend any regular QuickSmart lessons.

The school has asked my permission to collect and send my child’s data. What does this mean?

Click to view answer

QuickSmart is an ongoing research project run by the SiMERR National Research Centre at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW. We are sent anonymous data from schools every year, which we use to improve the program and show its continued effectiveness. It is also used for reports and publications. Reports are based on groups of students, not individuals.

This is the data the school has requested your permission to use. It includes the following:

  • Your child’s year at school and what level of tests they undertook
  • Your child’s QuickSmart lesson results
  • Your child’s PAT test results
  • Your child’s QuickSmart lesson attendance numbers (not comparison students)
  • The answers to surveys asking your child’s opinions on QuickSmart (not comparison students)

The data does NOT include the following, nor will we ever ask for it:

  • Your child’s name or contact details
  • Your child’s date of birth (as of 2019)

Only the school’s QuickSmart Coordinator and the SiMERR research team will know your child is taking part.

I do not feel comfortable with my child taking part in the QuickSmart lessons. What can I do?

Click to view answer

Please discuss this with your child’s school.

I do not feel comfortable with my child’s data being collected. What can I do?

Click to view answer

If you do not want your child to take part in the research, you will need to “opt out” of the program. Your child may continue in your QuickSmart lessons without taking part in the research project. Please advise your child’s school of your wishes.

What happens my child’s data that is sent to the research team by the school?

Click to view answer

We will keep all your child’s anonymous data sent by mail securely locked within our research office, or password protected on the QuickSmart database in the case of digital data. We will keep it for a total of five years after the project finishes and then destroy all copies.

Is QuickSmart ethically approved?

Click to view answer

This project has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of New England (Approval No. HE23-191, Valid to 18/12/2026).

Who are the research team behind the project?

Click to view answer

Professor John Pegg, Director of the SiMERR National Centre, is the head researcher of QuickSmart.

The Research Fellows in the centre include:

  • Anne Parnell: Research Fellow – Numeracy Development
  • Associate Professor Eveline Chan: Literacy (Research)
  • Dr Maree Lake: Research Fellow (Numeracy)
  • Martin Trotman: Research Fellow – QuickSmart Social Inclusion
  • Dr Stefan Horarik: Research Fellow

Contact us at SiMERR on 02 6773 5067 or at quicksmart@une.edu.au

I have a complaint about how this research has been undertaken. What can I do?

Click to view answer

If you have any complaints about the way this research is conducted, please contact the Research Ethics Officer at:

Research Services, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351

Tel: (02) 6773 3449 / Fax: (02) 6773 3543 / Email: ethics@une.edu.au

Is there a version of QuickSmart available for parents/guardians?

Click to view answer

Yes! Please see our QuickSmart@Home Numeracy program. There are currently no plans to create a version of the Literacy program for parents.

Testimonials from Parents

“Our daughter thought she learnt heaps. It helped her greatly. We appreciated the opportunity the program offered and we believe the benefits for our child were great.”

“He told me how well he was doing and how he was improving. His speeds were getting better and so was his accuracy. He enjoyed the work on the laptop. Yes, it was a good experience for my son and he is a lot more confident in his approach and more willing to take risks with his maths.”

“My daughter has improved her basic maths knowledge. She no longer uses her fingers. I believe she has learnt a lot. She enjoys maths in the normal classroom now.”

QuickSmart has had a huge effect on our daughter’s performance at school – most notably the Basic Skills results. In Year 3 she was in the bottom 30% of the state. This year, in Year 5, she was in the top 30%.”

“My child had a brilliant year in 2004. No doubt QuickSmart contributed to her success. In 2002, I had to force her to school and hand her over to the teacher. Today she loves school and is so excited to be going on to secondary. It is all we hear about.”

“The school and QuickSmart combined have created a child who wants to learn. She now happily completes homework!”

QuickSmart should be part of the school forever. For kids who are having a bit of trouble with the basics, the program has given them the boost they need to catch up, keep up and stay confident with themselves.”

“Hugely beneficial to our child. Such an amazing change in his ability. Without QuickSmart he’d still be lost.”