Resources fund unveiled alongside new English Hubs

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A new £7.7 million fund has been set up to encourage the development of teaching resources linked to the new curriculum.

The Department for Education (DfE) has unveiled the “curriculum fund” in order to boost the range of high-quality teaching resources available. In particular the DfE wants resources to be developed by “leading cultural and scientific institutions”, all with the aim of helping teachers to deliver the new curriculum while also “reducing workload and giving them more time to focus on what they do best – teaching”.

The announcement came alongside news of plans for a national network of 35 English Hubs, which are to be established to work with schools in challenging circumstances and help raise literacy standards.

Costing £26 million, the hubs are to be similar to the national network of Maths Hubs established in 2014 and will be coordinated by a new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching. The centre will promote and share effective practice across schools and will have a particular focus on language and literacy teaching in the Reception year.

It is one of a number of DfE announcements aimed at boosting primary school literacy. Research has shown that five-year-olds who struggle with language are six times less likely to reach the expected standard in English at age 11 than those with good language skills.

The government’s other initiatives to promote good literacy teaching at primary level include:

  • From April 2018, new phonics and reading partnerships will be set up to support teaching and encourage “more pupils to enjoy reading a wide range of literature”.
  • A £5.7 million fund for initiatives that boost literacy and numeracy skills in early years and primary education in 469 schools around the country.
  • A £5 million fund to trial approaches across the North of England that will help parents and carers to support early language development at home.

It is all part of the government’s social mobility action plan, Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential, which was published in December. The plan includes five key ambitions, including three in education: to close the word gap in the early years, to close the attainment gap in schools, and to offer high-quality post-16 choices for all young people.

  • Unlocking Talent, Fulfilling Potential (December 2017) and related documents can be found at http://bit.ly/2Fe1ikF


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