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Government announces new primary literacy improvement measures

09/01/2018 Joanna

The government has announced a number of new measures that aim to improve standards of literacy in primary-level education.

Under the Department for Education plans, a total of £800 million is to be spent on closing gaps in literacy and language performance between richer and poorer students, given that five-year-olds who struggle with language are six times less likely to reach the expected standard in English at age 11 than those with good language skills.

A new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching is to be established to support a national network of 35 English hubs across the country, which will work with schools in challenging circumstances to promote and share effective practice.

From April 2018, meanwhile, new phonics and reading partnerships will be set up to drive improvements in teaching and encourage more pupils to enjoy reading a wide range of literature. As part of this, 20 phonics and reading roadshows will be run across the country, with a specific focus on reception teaching.

Additionally, £5.7 million will be spent through the Strategic School Improvement Fund for initiatives that boost literacy and numeracy skills in early years and primary education in 469 schools nationwide, while organisations will be invited to bid for the contract to launch a £5 million fund to trial approaches to support early language development at home in the north of England.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "Today's literacy investment will help make sure that not just most, but every child arrives at school with the vocabulary levels they need to learn. And 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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