How Clade Empowers AIS NSW to Save Thousands from Illiteracy

Despite billions of dollars spent on education programs aimed at improving literacy, 440,000 Australian students still struggle to read. Clade has worked with AIS NSW to build ESTA-L, which has the potential to eradicate illiteracy and empower future generations.


Despite billions of dollars having been spent on education programs aimed at improving literacy, students continue to struggle with literacy skills. 440,000 Australian students can only read at a minimum level or less.



Poor literacy skills not only reduce a student’s chance of completing school, but have a ‘snowball’ effect on a student’s overall quality of life, eventually leading to consequences such as mental and physical health issues, crime, incarceration, unemployment and welfare dependency.

‘We’ve really noticed that when we have students who struggle with literacy, it has an impact on themselves as a person, [and] on their ability to learn across all subject areas, and it affects them long term. If we can’t catch them out right at the beginning, it just tends to snowball and get [sic] bigger as the years go on,’ says Michelle Kennedy, Tynsdale Christian School’s Head of Junior School.



Clade Solutions has partnered with AISNSW to develop ESTA-L, the Early Screening Tool App – Literacy. This application was built from a Microsoft technology stack, including Xamarin for the mobile app, Angular for the portal, .Net for the core API and the SQL server for the database. It provides teachers with information on what essential phonological and phonics skills students need, from Kindergarten to Year 2. Student performance is measured on any mobile device and takes less than 5 minutes.

Teachers can access this data via an online portal. It can be used to identify the progress of each individual student, the overall progress of an entire class, and inform effective classroom practice.


Not only can teachers monitor the progress of their students, they can learn more themselves.

‘We learnt a lot about phonics and phonetic awareness in greater detail, and I found that I learnt a lot more than I did at university when I was studying’, says Monique Taylor, a teacher at Santa Sabina College.