Created: 16th March, 2021

CLPE calls for long-term funding to tackle disadvantage in the education system

We have joined forces with the Fair Education Alliance, Driver Youth Trust and First Story to write an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson.  We've been joined by more than forty other organisations who have signed the letter calling for long-term sustained funding for literacy resources, interventions & experiences in order to tackle disadvantage and create a fairer education system for all. We believe all children have a right to rich literacy experiences and that 'catch up' should not be limited to functional skills.

The open letter sent to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, asks for commitments to:

- A broad and balanced English curriculum.

All young people need to have access to the broadest English curriculum. We want to see an emphasis on the importance of a rich literacy curriculum from the Government and Ofsted, as well as a guarantee that the more easily assessed skills such as decoding, transcribing and written comprehension will not be the only place that catch-up funding is directed.

- Cultural and creative experiences

Schools should be incentivised to reinstate cultural experiences and provide the necessary support and guidance to embed this into their curriculum. Rich literary knowledge comes from a range of experiences and cultural opportunities. Studying the work of and working directly with the creators of our literary heritage and reading for pleasure cannot be underestimated.

- High quality professional development for teachers

There needs to be targeted investment in professional development for teachers to support them to meet the needs of all young people and helping them to ‘catch up’ both in terms of functional skills and also the broader cultural and creative experiences they have missed out on during the time of the pandemic.

Organisations from across the literacy, literature and cultural landscape have joined us in calling for long term, sustained funding for rich literacy provision including the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust, World Book Day, Chartered College of Teaching, the National Theatre and the English and Media Centre.

Louise Johns-Shepherd, CLPE Chief Executive said, "Our work with schools and our research has shown us the transformative effect of a rich literacy curriculum.  Now is not the time to reduce children’s experience of literacy to functional skills which can be easily measured. Now is the time to invest in a fair education system which will make sure all children can benefit from a broad curriculum that supports their academic and creative development and ensures all children have access to the very best literature and the most creative teaching approaches."

Read the full letter here.