The government has announced that that nearly £45 million will be used to boost primary literacy, as part of its efforts to deliver its new social mobility action plan.
However, it was unclear how much of the money is new, and a number measures announced today have previously been foreshadowed by education secretary Justine Greening.
Today's announcements include:
- £5.7 million for initiatives to boost literacy and numeracy skills in early years and primary education in 469 schools, which will come out of the £140 million already announced for the Strategic School Improvement Fund.
- A new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching that will set up a national network of 35 English Hubs across the country – backed by £26 million investment.
- £435,000 for new phonics and reading partnerships and 20 more phonics and reading roadshows.
- A £5 million fund to trial approaches in the North of England to help parents and carers support early language development at home.
- A £7.7 million fund to encourage leading cultural and scientific institutions to develop high-quality teaching resources.
The curriculum fund follows a 2017 Conservative election pledge to encourage institutions like the British Museum to “help develop knowledge-rich materials for our schools”.
The DfE said the resources would reduce teacher workload.
Education secretary Justine Greening said: “Our ambition is that no community will be left behind on education. Today’s 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.”
In October, Ms Greening announced a £12 million network of English hubs “in the Northern Powerhouse”. It is unclear whether today's £26 million for a nationwide scheme includes this money.