A brand new National Literacy Programme (NLP) has been formally launched by the Welsh government today.
The new programme is designed to drive up literacy standards across the Welsh education system, with improved support for people in teaching jobs a key component of the proposals.
Launching the new programme at Bridgend's Ysgol Cwm Garw school, education and skills minister Leighton Andrews revealed the steps that will be taken to support pupils and teachers in the actions needed to improve standards.
"Improving levels of literacy and numeracy is a key commitment in our programme for government," Mr Andrews said.
"Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our young people have the skills they need to read, write and communicate."
Four key themes will make up the framework of the NLP, forming a five-year plan that brings together previous initiatives in a coherent and concise policy.
The four elements are: the setting of new national expectations and standards; the provision of greater support and development for both teachers and pupils; more rigorous and targeted interventions; and improved accountability in schools.
"The National Literacy Programme will introduce greater consistency and clarity into the way we track pupils' progress while also providing the support, challenge and accountability needed in our schools," the education minister added.
According to the government, support for teachers is one of the most important elements of the NLP, with teaching staff to be given the opportunity to carry out further study in the field of literacy, regardless of their subject specialism.
This will come in the form of a specific literacy module in the Masters in Educational Practice, which will provide teachers with the chance to work with other professionals considered to be outstanding in the area of literacy.
Next month, the government will publish its National Literacy and Numeracy Framework for consultation with the aim of providing teachers with a core lesson planning tool, while also making clear the nationwide standards expected of pupils aged between five and 14.
Posted by Alan Douglas