Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today [10 July] announced a new 'literacy fund' to ensure "every child starts secondary school with a head start, not a false start".

Schools with children who struggle to reach reading attainment levels will be able to access a share of the £10 million fund, in order to put on extra classes, provide one-to-one reading mentors and literacy tuition vouchers.

The Liberal Democrat leader added: "Reading with confidence is the basis of a good education and to unlocking everything the school curriculum has to offer.

The government created the scheme following the success of the Evening Standard's 'Get London Reading' campaign, which has drawn praise from schools minister Nick Gibb and has seen a 10 per cent increase in applications for teaching posts in the capital.

The campaign was set up after research showed one in six pupils fail reading attainment tests when leaving primary school, and has already had an impact on schools such as St Marys in Battersea which Mr Gibb visited yesterday.

After speaking to teachers and volunteer literacy coaches, he said: "The impact of the volunteers has been superb with many of the children they help catching up with their peers after just one term, but just as invaluable is the one-to-one time they [the children] receive and this is a model we want to replicate nationwide."

The fund will be run by the Education Endowment Foundation and will be aimed at the poorest children before they start secondary school.

Projects are expected to begin from September and will be available to schools, charities, local authorites and universities.

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Posted 10/07/2012 by