Whiteknights Primary School announced as an English Hub

I have received the enclosed letter from the Secretary of State for Education. I would like to offer my congratulations to all the teachers & staff at Whiteknights Primary School, which has been chosen as an English Hub:

On 2 October, I announced the 32 schools chosen to be English Hubs, and support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. Each of these schools has demonstrated excellent practice in teaching reading to its young pupils, and has achieved great results. I am writing to you to confirm that Whiteknights Primary School in your constituency has been chosen as one of these hubs.

Each hub school will offer support in early language and literacy teaching to up to 170 primary schools, with a focus on supporting improved teaching in the reception year and key stage 1, particularly for schools with high numbers of disadvantaged children. There will be an emphasis on improving the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, which evidence shows is the most effective method for teaching the essential first steps in young children learning to read. We know that early communication and language skills underpin later educational success. Five years old children who struggle with language are about six times less likely to reach the expected standard in English at age 11 than children who had reached the expected standard of language at age 5.

Schools will be able to self-refer to the English Hubs programme by filling out an application form with their local hub. Hubs will offer half day showcase events, highlighting best practice in phonics and early language teaching, and will provide financial support to enable schools to buy resources including commercial phonics programmes. Some schools will be eligible for an audit of current provision, and in the second year of the programme hubs will provide an intensive programme of up to 6 days of in-school support in early language and literacy teaching for up to 20 local schools.

We will be funding English Hubs to carry out all the above activity. The precise amounts per hub have yet to be determined though, overall, we are committed to spending up to £26.3 million for the national network of English Hubs.

Yours ever

Damian Hinds
Secretary of State for Education

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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