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Schools: Teachers

Volume 711: debated on Thursday 4 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role of volunteers in providing one-to-one reading support in primary schools. [HL3777]

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether only trained teachers are used to provide intensive one-to-one literacy support in primary schools; and what are the cost implications of the sole use of trained teachers. [HL3894]

There are currently three funded programmes with an element of one-to-one literacy support in primary schools. The Every Child a Writer programme and the one-to-one tuition programme (which covers English and mathematics) are delivered solely by qualified tutors. A qualified tutor is:

someone with qualified teacher status (QTS);

an overseas qualified teacher eligible to teach in schools in England;

a newly qualified teacher in the summer before he or she attains QTS; and

someone with teaching and subject-specific qualifications from the higher or further education sectors.

In the third programme, Every Child a Reader, the intensive support reading recovery element is delivered only by a trained teacher. The Fisher Family Trust Wave 3 materials are delivered one-to-one by a teaching assistant.

The total cost of the one-to-one tuition programme and the tuition element of the Every Child a Writer programme is £468 million in this Comprehensive Spending Review period. This figure includes the cost of paying qualified tutors to deliver the tuition. During the school day, tutors are paid according to the pay scale set out in the school teachers' pay and conditions document. Outside the school day, tutors are paid a suggested set rate, which was calculated based on teacher pay scales, research into the private tuition market and experience from the Making Good Progress pilot.

In addition primary schools are able to access help from volunteers to support children's reading, both locally organised programmes and through national charities such as Volunteer Reading Help, which is supported by a government grant of £150,000 in this year. In 2008-09 some 4,500 children received one-to-one support from VRH-trained volunteers, typically in two half-hour sessions twice a week throughout the school year.