Call for reading hour back-up

2nd April 1999 at 01:00
CHILDREN who struggle to read despite the literacy hour might need a "second wave" of support, says a Government-backed study.

Follow-up programmes for weak readers are a key feature of literacy schemes in the United States and Australia where schemes target 18 per cent of children who struggle despite a year of systematic literacy teaching.

The report by Roger Beard of Leeds University reviews research and other evidence supporting the introduction and structure of the national literacy strategy.

John Stannard, the head of the Government's literacy strategy, has already announced that he hopes to have a programme of special help in place by 2000.

The literacy hour was introduced by most primaries last September, the numeracy hour is due to be launched this autumn.

However, some critics are concerned at the lack of research-based evidence showing the hour's effectiveness. Others challenge specific aspects of the strategy and the literacy hour, claiming better results using different ways of teaching phonics.

Dr Beard's report sets out the arguments for a national initiative on literacy, citing evidence that standards have remained virtually unchanged since the late 1940s. Britain is a middling performer internationally - the most able youngsters match the best performers anywhere but there is a longer statistical "tail" of under-achievers.

Dr Beard concludes: "The complementary nature of much of the evidence is a clear indicator that, if it is widely and sensitively implemented, the national literacy strategy offers a major promise of significantly raising standards and of improving the life-chances of thousands of children."

National Literacy Strategy - Review of Research and other Related Evidence, available from DFEE Publications, PO Box 5050, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6ZQ, tel 0845 6022260. Quote product code NLSRR.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now