Councillor hails literacy scheme as ‘great initiative’ to boost reading skills

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 February 2018

Pupils were trying out some of the world records in the Guiness Book of World Records.

Pupils were trying out some of the world records in the Guiness Book of World Records.


English hubs will be set up across the country and phonics and reading roadshows will be rolled out to improve literacy in schools.

Help cash-strapped schools by supporting our Books For Schools campaign. Help cash-strapped schools by supporting our Books For Schools campaign.

The government has unveiled a multi-million pound scheme aimed at improving reading skills and raising teaching standards.

A new centre of excellence for literacy teaching will be created in the next couple of months, followed by a national network of 35 hubs by the autumn.

The centre will enable education professionals to share best practice, with a particular focus on language and literacy teaching in reception.

From April, new phonics and reading partnerships will be set up to drive improvements in teaching and phonics roadshows will also run across the country.

Cllr Jan Barber, Jan Barber, North Somerset Council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, said: “Unless children can read, they are at an incredible disadvantage.

“If you can’t read, you can’t much else, so reading is one of the most important skills.

“Some people’s home lives are not conducive to reading so they are reliant on schools.

“On the whole, we are very good – we’ve got very good teachers and a very good phonics programme. But a lot of schools are so cash-strapped, they can’t afford to buy books which are necessary. This is a great initiative and we will welcome it with open arms.”

Education secretary Justine Greening says ‘too many children arrive at school struggling with language and literacy’ making it hard for them to master the basics of reading.

She added: “The 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 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.”

The Weston Mercury is running a Books For Schools campaign to help cash-strapped primary schools provide more books to children.

People can donate books and gift vouchers so we can give out 100 books to a school each month. Donations can be dropped into our office in Waterloo Street in Weston.

More: Primary school receives 100 new books through campaign.

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