A new national initiative to improve literacy outcomes has been launched with Uni Connect partnerships nationwide.

The Literacy Advisory Group, led by the Kent & Medway Progression Federation (KMPF) and chaired by the National Literacy Trust, will offer all Uni Connect Partnerships the opportunity to share learning and best practice. The first meeting took place on Thursday, 30 November, and the group will now meet quarterly.

Improving literacy is becoming increasingly important as recent research by the National Literacy Trust showed that children’s reading enjoyment is at its lowest level in two decades. Based on 71,351 responses to the Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey, the report found that over half of all children and young people (aged 8-18) don’t enjoy reading in their free time.

The Advisory Group aims to create a community of good practice for managing and improving literacy. The group will map the delivery of literacy interventions nationwide and share best practices to embed literacy across the curriculum. It will also discuss the Continuing Professional Development programmes already being delivered and developed.

Jason Vit, Head of Local Areas at the National Literacy Trust, said, “It is great to work with KMPF to bring together university partnerships from across the country to share best practices about the development and evaluation of impactful literacy interventions. We hope over the academic year to support partnerships further by providing access to our research and sharing our experiences of co-designing literacy programmes with schools.

In addition, we are currently working with KMPF and several other university partnerships, supporting them with their remit to raise attainment in secondary schools. Our focus with this work is providing professional development and training for teachers on how to improve students’ literacy skills in their subject.”     

Representatives from 23 Uni Connect Partnerships attended the first meeting and discussed ways to develop literacy in secondary schools. Breakout groups focused on the current challenges faced by secondary schools, opportunities to support schools, and what activities university partnerships are planning. An inventory of literacy activity and evaluation methodologies has been created and will support the content of the next meeting in January.

Notes to editors

Reading Trends Report, National Literacy Trust, September 2023 Children and Young People’s Reading Research Report 2023 | National Literacy Trust | National Literacy Trust


Lucy King

11 Dec 2023

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