International Reading Association

A leading HMI told one of the congress sessions that early intervention had led to a "commendable overall improvement", but there was a long way to go.

The percentage of children who had reached their expected attainment level by the end of S2 rose from 44 per cent to 56 per cent in reading between 1998 and 2001, and from 38 per cent to 46 per cent in writing. But Ernie Spencer, a specialist in English, said these figures were still well short of the 70 per cent target.

Teaching had to encourage pupils to become skilled in different ways of thinking.

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