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Children: Literacy

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent progress has been made under the (a) Every Child a Reader and (b) Every Child Counts programmes; and if he will make a statement. (247396)

Every Child a Reader (ECaR) was established by the KPMG Every Child a Chance Trust in 2005, and from September 2008 is being rolled out by the National Strategies on behalf of Government. By 2010-11, it aims to support the bottom 5 per cent. (approximately 30,000) of children aged 5 and 6 who are struggling to learn to read. It combines one-to-one Reading Recovery support with other less intensive interventions. The programme works on a cascade model whereby each local authority funds Teacher Leader training, and Teacher Leaders, in turn, train Reading Recovery teachers to deliver one-to-one tuition and coordinate the programme in schools. Forty-two Teacher Leaders have so far been trained, and a further 20 local authorities selected a Teacher Leader to undertake the required Masters level training from September 2008. A further cohort will begin training from September 2009, putting us on course to reach 30,000 children a year by 2010-11.

In November 2008, the KPMG Every Child a Chance Trust published their final report on the three-year ECaR pilot. This found that the programme has continued to deliver reliable results for children, both in terms of raising attainment levels and narrowing the social and gender gap. Over 86 per cent. of children who received Reading Recovery in year 1 went on to meet national expectations (level 2+) in reading at the end of KS1, in comparison to 84 per cent. nationally.

Every Child Counts (ECC) is a mathematics intervention programme targeted at the bottom 5 per cent. (around 30,000) of children aged 6 and 7 who are struggling with numeracy. The programme combines one-to-one Numbers Count support with other less intensive interventions. ECC builds on the relationship with the KPMG Every Child a Chance Trust, established to deliver the ECaR programme. The National Strategies will lead on the national roll-out from 2010. This follows a two-year development phase which began in September 2008.

ECC follows the same structure as ECaR. Twenty-one local authorities started the pilot programme in September 2008, each with a Teacher Leader training at Masters level, directing the work at a local level among schools and training Numbers Count teachers. From September 2009, a further cohort will begin training, expanding the programme until national roll-out in 2010.

Data from the research phase showed that 73 per cent. of children receiving the Numbers Count intervention went on to achieve level 2 or above at the end of KS1. Before receiving the programme, none of these children were predicted to reach age-level expectations at this stage.