Primary school children in a classroom

Department for Education boosting primary education through funding

The Department for Education has announced that it  is set to invest millions of pounds worth of funding in improving phonics and literacy teaching in primary schools around the country.

The government is to invest more than £24 million in building literacy skills in children, with continued support of pupils’ recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic. This support is working towards the target of having 90% of primary school children reach the ‘expected standard’ in literacy and numeracy.

This support is working alongside other support, such as the National Tutoring Programme, and forms only a part off the commitment being made by the Government to ensure that every young person leaves school in the best possible position in regards to their grasp of literacy and numeracy. It also comes following the conclusion of Dyslexia Awareness Week, as targeted literacy support plays a vital role in developing reading and writing skills in pupils with dyslexia.

The funding is designed to support the continuation of growth the English Hubs Programme, which allows more schools to utilise high-quality phonics teaching, as well as access to literacy specialists.

Kit Malthouse, Education Secretary for the UK Government, said:

“If any child leaves school without the ability to read and write properly, we have failed them.

“It is imperative that we support schools and pupils following the disruption of the pandemic. This funding will help us do that, but also help to instil a love of reading in young people that can last throughout their education and beyond.”

Headteacher and Strategic Lead for Little Sutton English Hub, Rachel David, added:

“The funding available to schools to implement validated phonics programmes has been wide reaching, particularly with the introduction if the Accelerator Fund programme last year.

“Our team of highly trained Literacy Specialists have worked with schools to deepen their understanding of the impact of phonics teaching.

“Crucially, our work in the English Hubs Programmes has given staff the ability to identify specific barriers to individual pupils’ learning and implement precise, swift intervention. This has helped children who find reading more difficult to achieve success. It has also greatly supported schools in their Covid Recovery Programme.”

This support also builds on the Accelerator Fund that has already seen £4 million worth of funding distributed to over 450 schools, with the aim of helping schools access specialist support programmes for students. It will also boost programmes that already exist.

The Government’s commitment to supporting schools with their goals of early identification of need, as well as identification of those who require additional support is outlined in the Schools White Paper, SEND Review, and Alternative Provision Green Paper.

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