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Reading chief calls for instant action

The man leading the Government review into how to teach reading has told schools not to wait for his findings.

Jim Rose said heads and literacy co-ordinators already knew what was needed, and that the key was to get into classrooms and ensure that teachers were teaching well.

The former director of inspections at Ofsted, said: "We cannot afford to wait for the outcomes of consultations on frameworks or reading reviews before taking action."

His comments come as the Government prepares to update the primary literacy and numeracy strategy frameworks, which are now more than six years old.

Draft versions of the new frameworks are expected in the summer of 2007.

The strategies are now being run by Capita, the education services company.

Mr Rose is expected to present an interim report in November with a final version in early 2006.

He has been told by Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, to make recommendations on the best ways to teach early reading and synthetic phonics, and the best support for children with significant literacy difficulties.

The Rose review will inform the guidance being developed for working with pre-school children and the review of the literacy strategy.

Speaking and listening will play a much bigger role following repeated calls from teachers and inspectors, and there will be greater emphasis on personalising the curriculum, with the new frameworks enabling teachers to assess what is expected of children and then track back or forward to find activities to support pupils who are falling behind or stretch those working ahead, says the Department for Education and Skills. But the DfES wants to hear from teachers.

Its guidance states: "Those who use the frameworks know best what aspects of the guidance have been most successful, what might be changed to sharpen the advice and what should be added to address gaps or issues and new priorities."

Comments are being invited through the Government's standards website.

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