£26m fund for English hubs to boost child literacy

£26m fund for English hubs to boost child literacy

A Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching has been announced by education secretary Justine Greening to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds master the basics of reading in primary school.

This is part of the government’s social mobility action plans ‘Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential’, which was published on 14 December.

The plan identifies how the Department for Education (DfE) will deliver equality of opportunity for every young person, regardless of where they live, through five key ambitions.

The measures will deliver progress in the first two core ambitions, Ambition 1 to close the word gap in the early years and Ambition 2, closing the attainment gap in school outcomes between disadvantaged young people and their peers.

the new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching will set up a national network of 35 English Hubs across the country – backed by £26 million investment - to work with schools in challenging circumstances and help raise standards.

The centre will also promote and share effective practice with a particular focus on language and literacy teaching in reception. This mirrors the already successful approach with maths Hubs – high performing schools which share their knowledge with other schools locally.

Also, from April 2018, new phonics and reading partnerships will be set up, to drive improvements in teaching and encouraging more pupils to enjoy reading a wide range of literature.

Another 20 phonics and reading roadshows will also be run across the country and include a specific focus on reception teaching. This new investment worth £435,000 will build on the successes of the phonics programmes, which have already helped put 154,000 more six-year-olds on track to become fluent readers since 2012.

In addition, £5.7 million will be invested into initiatives that boost literacy and numeracy skills, through the government’s Strategic School Improvement Fund along with a £7.7 million curriculum fund to encourage the development of high-quality teaching resources by organisations, including by leading cultural and scientific institutions. These resources will help teachers deliver the government’s new curriculum while reducing workload and giving them more time to focus on what they do best – teaching.

Justine Greening said: “School standards are rising with 1.9 million more children being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

“Our ambition is that no community will be left behind on education. Our investment will mean that once they are at school, every child will get the best literacy teaching. We’ve already seen what a difference our approach on phonics has made for children in England.”

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