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Education Secretary launches 'English Hubs' for four-year-olds

Article By: Sue Learner

A national network of 35 ‘English Hubs’ are to work with disadvantaged four and five-year-olds in a bid to improve their reading and writing.

The initiative will be run by a new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching which is being funded by a Government investment of £26m.

It is one of a range of measures announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening to boost child literacy and help combat the educational gap between low income children and their better off peers.

Ms 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. 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 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.”

The ’English Hubs’ will mirror the approach by ‘Maths Hubs’ where high performing schools share their teaching with other schools locally.

In addition, from April 2018, new phonics and reading partnerships are to be set up, to drive improvements in teaching and encourage 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.

The Government also plans to spend £5m on trialling programmes in the North of England to help parents support early language development at home.

However, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, claimed “these small initiatives” are not enough to “reverse the damage” the Government is doing to the education system.

She added: “This funding will do nothing to change the fact that £2.7 billion has been cut from the budgets of England's schools since 2015, and that teacher recruitment targets have been missed for the fifth year in a row.”


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