Meet our Team: John Warburton

John Warburton

Project Lead - MultiLit Assessment Platform

John Warburton found a love of literacy education as a parent of a child encountering reading difficulties, and he hasn’t looked back since.

With decades as a journalist under his belt, John joined MultiLit armed with a fierce attention to detail and has become an integral part of our team.

He currently provides training and school support as he prepares to pivot into data collection and analytics for schools.


How long have you worked for MultiLit?

I’ve been with MultiLit for 10 years. Like many of my colleagues, I started here as a tutor in the Literacy Centre at Macquarie Park in Sydney. However, for the past eight years I’ve been in a training and school support role within the organisation.

What inspired you to get into education?

My mother was a primary school teacher who specialised in what was then called remedial teaching. I’m sure some of that rubbed off on me, but it was really as the parent of a child with reading difficulties that I first became seriously interested in literacy education.

Tell us a bit about your background and experience.

Prior to joining MultiLit I worked as a journalist for 20 years on various publications, including the Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald. So, the written word is a common thread that runs through my working life.

My first encounter with MultiLit was as a parent volunteer at my kids’ primary school. This led to a postgraduate course in special education at Macquarie University, and eventually to a role as a tutor at the MultiLit Literacy Centre delivering reading intervention programs.

What are some of the key responsibilities in your role?

Over the years I’ve trained hundreds of educators in all the MultiLit reading interventions and whole-class programs. Initially all our training was done face-to-face, but in recent years we’ve moved to a hybrid model which offers both face-to-face training and remote videoconference workshops. That has allowed us to deliver professional learning to schools in remote and regional areas that might not previously have been able to access it. It’s been particularly important for the schools involved in MultiLit’s Closing the Gap project, which provides intensive support to about 40 majority-Indigenous schools all over Australia.

The other crucial aspect of a trainer’s role at MultiLit is as a school partnership consultant, supporting schools in implementing programs and delivering best-practice literacy teaching. Advice can cover every aspect of delivery, from whole-school literacy approaches to the nuts and bolts of individual assessments.

What's next for you at MultiLit?

This year I’m taking a step back from training and school support to concentrate on a new project at MultiLit. I’ll be focusing on making it easier for teachers and schools to collect and analyse data from the assessments they administer as part of our programs. It’s a big and exciting project, and I’m looking forward to working with schools to make sure it meets their needs.

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about literacy?

There’s no single tangible or more achievable way of improving social equity and reducing generational disadvantage than to provide all children with high-quality, evidence-based literacy instruction right from the start of school.

Get to know more of our team here.

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