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Reading Initiative

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what involvement his Department has had in developing the Every Child a Reader initiative; and if he will make a statement; (98055)

(2) which public bodies are involved in the Every Child a Reader initiative;

(3) what the average cost per child was of using personalised reading recovery to bring the relevant children up to the national average literacy level in 2005-06.

Every Child a Reader (ECAR) is a three-year project which aims to help 5,000 five-year-olds and six-year-olds learn to read by placing specialist literacy teachers, trained in ‘Reading Recovery’, into schools to provide intensive one-to-one support to children most in need. The project also aims to explore the potential for those teachers to support tailored literacy teaching more broadly within a school. The cost per child of participation in a Reading Recovery programme is between £2,000 and £2,500, depending on the salary scale point of the Reading Recovery teacher, and whether a London allowance is applicable.

ECAR is an independent project initiated by the KPMG Foundation. The DfES agreed to match funding provided by the business sector and charitable trusts and has provided £4.55 million of the £10 million that the scheme requires. The Department works closely with ECAR in decisions about funding allocations and evaluation mechanisms. An evaluation report of the first year of the ECAR project will be published next week and a copy will be placed in both Houses.

Reading Recovery is a literacy intervention programme run by the Institute of Education. In delivering ECAR, the Institute works with the KPMG Foundation, the Primary National Strategy and the DfES. Other bodies currently involved in ECAR are the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the SHINE Trust, the Indigo Trust, JJ Charitable Trust, the Mercers’ company and Man Group plc. Local authorities currently involved are Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Derbyshire, Devon, Kent, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Sheffield.