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CVA is a perverse incentive

I was delighted to see the positive article ("Full recovery, Teacher magazine, June 16) about the impact on key stage 1 and 2 results of having a trained Reading Recovery teacher in an infant school.

However, I have recently discovered that a couple of all-through primary schools, with new headteachers are considering dropping Reading Recovery in order to focus funding and effort on key stage 2. Every primary head in the land knows why: the use of contextual value-added (CVA) in the inspection system.

What is the point of making sure that every child can read (and read well) in key stage 1 when this means that the value that can subsequently be added in key stage 2 will diminish?

We know that intervening early, in Years 1 and 2, is the key to preventing lifelong literacy difficulties, and that the later you leave it, the harder it gets. Nationally, we need to find a better way of giving schools incentives to make that early investment in children's futures.

Jean Gross

Director, Every Child a Reader

KPMG Foundation

8 Salisbury Square, London EC4

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