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The Western Australian Study in Reading Aloud: Group A

Dear Parent or Carer


Our names are Dr Margaret Merga and Dr Susan Ledger and we are conducting a research project
that aims to explore the current practice of reading aloud at school and at home. The project will seek
to discover when the practice of reading aloud is phased out at school and at home as students
progress through the primary school years. There is limited current research that identifies barriers to
the practice of reading aloud. The project is being conducted as part of a growing body of literacy
research at Murdoch University within the School of Education, and has been funded by the Collier
Charitable Foundation.
We would like to invite you to anonymously take part in the project. This is because your school has
been selected as part of a representative sample, and the Site Manger of your school has consented to
the schools participation.
What does participation in the research project involve?
Participation in the project will involve parents or carers of children from Kindergarten to Year 6
completing a survey online. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. No further
involvement beyond that outlined above will be required.
To what extent is participation voluntary, and what are the implications of withdrawing that
participation?
Participation in this research project is entirely voluntary. There will be no consequences relating to
any decision by an individual or the school regarding participation, other than those already
described in this letter. Decisions made will not affect the relationship with the researcher or
Murdoch University. Withdrawal can be made up to the point of data collection, after which it will
not be possible due to the anonymous nature of responses.
What will happen to the information collected, and is privacy and confidentiality assured?
Information that identifies anyone will be removed from the data collected. The data is then stored
securely on the researchers password protected hard drives and on Survey Monkey (an online

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survey software that is easy to use) and can only be accessed by the researchers. The data will be
stored for a minimum period of 5 years, after which it will be destroyed. This will be achieved by
deletion of all copies of electronic data recordings, as well as shredding and disposal of all hard
copies.
The identity of participants and the school will not be disclosed at any time, except in circumstances
that require reporting under mandatory reporting Child Protection policy, or where we are legally
required to disclose that information. Participant privacy, and the confidentiality of information
disclosed by participants, is assured at all other times. The data will be used only for this project, and
will not be used in any extended or future research without first obtaining explicit written consent
from participants.
To thank your school for participating, your school will be given access to a preliminary summary of
findings that will be released exclusively to participating schools prior to the release of formal
findings. We will email a Plain English report to our school contact. If you also wish to receive a
copy of the report, please email the researchers. You can expect this report to be available by
September 2017.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this study with the researchers, please contact us. If you
have had all questions about the project answered to your satisfaction, and are willing to participate,
please consent to participate at the first item on the survey. This information letter is for you to keep.
With thanks,
Margaret & Sue
Dr Margaret K Merga & Dr Susan Ledger
School of Education
Murdoch University | South Street, Murdoch WA 6150
Tel +61 8 9360 2378 | Email M.Merga@murdoch.edu.au

This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval
2015/259). (Once approved by CEO and DET ethics, this section will be updated with their contact details)
If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an
independent person, you may contact Murdoch Universitys Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 or email ethics@murdoch.edu.au). Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and
you will be informed of the outcome.

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