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£300,000 to tackle fall in literacy standards

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NEARLY £300,000 more will be spent to raise literacy standards.

(Picture by PA News)

This additional funding, which was included in the Budget, includes recruiting two literacy specialists to work in secondary schools with Key Stage 3 students (Years 7 to 9); a better range of books and resources in primary and secondary schools; and an increase in funding for the Dyslexia Day Centre to support an increase in the number of children referred to the centre in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6).

In October, Education, Sport & Culture released data which indicated a possible decline in literacy standards in recent years.

‘Literacy is absolutely vital to allow children to make progress at school across almost every subject area and then as adults to participate fully in society and achieve their ambitions wherever they may lie,’ said president Deputy Matt Fallaize.

‘The committee recently directed the Education Office to work with all schools to carry out a deeper review of literacy standards and prepare any measures which could be put in place to deliver any improvements necessary and generally secure the highest possible standards. This review is now under way and schools are being given the opportunity to shape the future strategy for high literacy standards.

‘Initial findings indicate some clear priorities. I am very pleased the committee is able to respond decisively and allocate this significant additional funding. This will help to ensure there is no delay in putting measures in place for students to receive further support as quickly as possible.’

The Dyslexia Day Centre has seen a significant increase in children referred for additional support. The extra cash means it can start working with children earlier – in Year 4 rather than Year 5. Students will still receive public funding for two years on the programme.

The committee has allocated money for new phonics books for primary schools. Each school can get six copies each of 100 different books per form of entry. This equates to approximately one book per week per child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

Secondary schools will receive funding to provide additional interventions for children who need support to improve their reading and the recruitment of two new literacy specialists.

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One will work between what are currently La Mare de Carteret High School and Les Beaucamps High School during the transition period in which they will merge to become De Saumarez College.

The other will work between what are currently St Sampson’s High School and The Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre during the transition period in which they will merge to become Victor Hugo College.

Additional funding has been allocated to purchase books for secondary schools to improve reading for pleasure and support broader reading across the curriculum.

In total, ESC was given £715,000 for new service developments in the Budget.

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Members agreed to £120,000 for development of literacy support provision in secondary schools and £180,000 to increase individual pupil support.

Additional teachers at Le Murier, Les Voies and Le Rondin were budgeted at £70,000 each.

Enhancing communication and autism support was given £205,000.

Education’s total budget is nearly £76.7m.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann

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