What Do You Think About Literacy in Swansea Schools?

The Children, Young People and Learning Overview & Scrutiny Board are undertaking a major piece of work on literacy in Swansea schools.  The issue of literacy is obviously a vital one not just for individuals but for the economy more widely.  Improving the literacy levels of all pupils remains a local priority; raising standards in reading and writing is a vital in the drive to tackle socio-economic deprivation and to address the urgent issues associated with child poverty.

Here is are some key statistics from Literacy: State of the Nation produced by the National Literacy Trust to give you a sense of the issues involved:  

  • One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven year old
  • A quarter of young people do not recognise a link between reading and success
  • Men and women with poor literacy are least likely to be in full-time employment at the age of thirty
  • 73% of parents and carers say their child often reads
  • The number of children achieving the expected levels for reading at age eleven increased from 78% in 1999 to 86% in 2009
  • The number of children achieving the expected levels for writing at age eleven increased from 54% to 67% in 2006, but this figure plateaued and remained  the same (67%) three years later in 2009

The Board want practical proposals to come from their report and are looking particular at the following questions:

  • Why are some young people leaving school with low levels of literacy?
  • What is being done in Swansea and in schools in particular doing to address this?

If you are a parent then the Board is particularly keen to know if you think:

  •  Literacy is seen as a priority across schools in Swansea?
  • Your school is supporting children’s literacy well?
  • There is a clear vision for improvement in the area of literacy in Schools across Swansea?

Let us know your thoughts on these questions and any other views on literacy in Swansea schools at scrutiny@swansea.gov.uk

The Board has also sent out a questionnaire to teachers, teaching assistants and school governors (did you know there are 1600 governors in Swansea!).  If you haven’t had yours let me know.

If you want the finer details of the review you can find them in the scoping report that went to the Board’s meeting in July.  The report should be published early next year.

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