A local authority's response to Every Child a Reader

Abstract
Background: The purpose of the study was to show that with the right resources, it is possible to tackle the literacy difficulties that blight many children’s lives, particularly those of children who live in poverty. The initiative part-funds highly skilled Reading Recovery teachers in primary schools to provide intensive individual help to children most in need.

Aims: The main aim of Every Child a Reader is to narrow the achievement gap for disadvantaged children by significantly improving their literacy skills and engagement in learning.

Methods: The participants in Every Child a Reader are Reading Recovery teachers, primary school children, parents/carers, school staff, and Local Authority professionals. Reading Recovery teachers are trained in a year-long programme that combines theoretical understanding and practical experience. They are supported by a Teacher Leader who organises and facilitates professional development, and provides guidance on the content of the sessions. Observation of live lessons is a key feature of the training.

Findings: The main findings of Every Child a Reader are that with the right resources, it is possible to tackle the literacy difficulties that blight many children’s lives. The initiative part-funds highly skilled Reading Recovery teachers in primary schools, providing intensive individual help to children most in need, resulting in accelerated progress and improved literacy skills.

Implications: The findings of Every Child a Reader have implications for children's services staff, headteachers, and other school staff. The initiative has shown that with the right resources, it is possible to improve literacy skills and engagement in learning for disadvantaged children. The CPD approaches used have enabled teachers to become reflective, thoughtful, and analytical, and the impact on pupil learning has been significant.
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Keywords (free text)
Primary education, English - reading, English - speaking and listening, English - writing
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