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Literacy: Primary Education

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what funding his Department is providing to projects to improve literacy in primary schools in 2009-10. (275785)

In 2009-10 we expect to spend in the region of £130 million projects to improve literacy in primary schools in 2009-10. This includes funding for schools and local authorities via the standards fund and central delivery costs of the national strategies (including provision of an education field force and free continuing professional development resources for teachers and practitioners), as follows:

£78 million for literacy and mathematics,

£13 million for our communication, language and literacy development programme implementing the recommendations of the 2006 Rose Review of Early Reading,

£30 million for our Every Child a Reader programme,

£8 million for our Every Child a Writer programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children in England have received one-to-one tuition in reading through the Every Child A Reader programme since its national implementation; (275789)

(2) what funding has been allocated to the national implementation of the Every Child A Reader programme;

(3) what the estimated cost per child of the Every Child A Reader programme is; and if he will make a statement.

By the end of this school year, just over 8,000 children will have received one-to-one tuition in reading through the Every Child a Reader programme since its national implementation in September 2008. This is at a cost to Government of approximately £17 million over the academic year 2008/09. The implementation of the Every Child a Reader programme is proving to be very successful, with children who access the intensive elements of these programmes making four to five times the normal rate of progress.

A report by KPMG’s Every Child a Chance Trust, published in January 2009, estimates the cost per child to be £2,609. This figure includes the costs incurred by local authorities as well as the national training and infrastructure co-ordinated through the University of London’s Institute of Education.

This Government are committed to ensuring every child learns to read. For most, this will mean good systematic phonics through the early years and beginning of primary school. For others, extra provision will be necessary—primarily through school-based interventions and our Every Child a Reader programme. We continue to fund local authorities and schools to strike the appropriate balance between whole class teaching and catch-up interventions for those children that need it. We remain committed to rolling out this highly effective programme to reach 30,000 children a year by 2010/11.