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Literacy news

New Ofsted report highlights best practice in literacy

21 Jan 2011

Oftsed, the body responsible for inspecting schools, has today released a report titled Removing barriers to literacy. The report highlights best practice in literacy from early years through to adult education following visits between June 2008 and February 2010 to 45 early years registered providers, 37 secondary and 61 primary schools, 21 colleges, 16 independent training providers, eight local authority providers of adult education, and one prison.

Focusing on three groups that experience poor literacy outcomes, the report uses best practice from schools and settings that are achieving the highest results for these groups. The three key groups studied are children in care, white working class boys and pupils on free school meals.

Among the factors associated with high achievement were:

     * A focus on early communication

    * Systematic phonics - even for adults with poor literacy skills

    * Literacy work focused on subject matter of interest to pupils

    * High expectations for all pupils

    * Focus on writing for adults, rather than just reading

Despite the success of some settings the report found that providers had "seldom succeeded completely in narrowing the attainment gap of all pupils... Even the providers that were judged to be outstanding acknowledged that there is still more to do".

In response to the report, Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said:

“This report highlights the crucial importance of literacy across the curriculum. By focusing on the groups with the greatest risk of failure the findings reveal fascinating lessons for all schools and educational settings. The National Literacy Trust works to raise awareness of the importance of early years communication, supports schools in providing activities focused on the interests of their pupils and promotes the importance of all four literacy skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. This report re-enforces much of our work and also provides valuable evidence for the future.”

Download the full report here

Read more on the Daily Mail

Read more on BBC News

Tags: Adult Basic Skills, Adults, Children, Early Reading Connects, Early Years, Early years sector, England, Local Authorities, National Young Readers' Programme, Partners in Literacy, Policy, Reading Champions, Reading Connects, Reading The Game, Schools & teaching, Scotland, Social inclusion, Talk To Your Baby, Talk for Writing, Words for Work, Young People

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