Agenda item - Every Child a Reader (ECaR)

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Agenda item

Every Child a Reader (ECaR)

Report of the Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning (Copy attached)




1.    That the information in the report be noted by committee.



65.1       The Committee considered a report of the Interim Executive Director Families, Children and Learning. The report was introduced by a consultant and the Head Teacher of Middle Street School.


65.2       The Committee were provided with a brief overview of the report which sought to provide information on the interventions that are now provided with the provision to improve schools’ outcomes in reading. It further sought to outline how additional funding was allocated to support schools’ outcomes in reading. It was noted that all 10 schools that had adopted ECaR had committed to further provision and that an open universal offer was made to all primary and secondary schools.


65.3       The Head Teacher of Middle Street School stated that their ECaR teacher had been in operation for the last 10 years and noted that the programme comprised of more than just one to one intervention between teacher and child. It was stated that the programme had reignited a passion for reading especially among young boys who tended to put books aside after reaching 6 years old. It was further noted that this programme had impacted on children’s writing and enabled creativity.


65.4       Councillor Clare referred to Appendix 1 and enquired as to the reasons why more boys than girls were taking part in the programme.


65.5       The Head Teacher of Middle Street School stated that this was what the assessment concluded and that it was important that males were supported in their love for literacy.


65.6       Councillor Hills enquired which schools did not take part in the programme.


65.7       The Consultant stated that all schools had been offered the universal offer.


65.8       The Assistant Director – Education & Skills stated that there were other ways to promote good reading and writing as well as the implementation of the ECaR programme that were being pursued by other schools.


65.9       Councillor Nield enquired if there was a possibility of schools losing teaching assistants as a result of budget cuts and if this could lead to the inability to adopt ECaR.


65.10    The Consultant stated that schools had been provided with a bespoke offer which included training for staff that fell under the ECaR umbrella.


65.11    The Assistant Director -Education & Skills stated that BHCC would be checking schools to see how well it was going and would then consider how to go forward.


65.12  The Youth Council Member agreed with the findings and stated that from personal experience this was the case and enquired what provision was in place for students going in to secondary school.


65.13  The Consultant stated that the offer was open to all schools and that 4 or 5 secondary schools were currently engaged in the process.


65.14  The Head of Education Standards & Achievement stated that his could be looked at in future.


65.15  A Parent Governor Representative enquired if schools listed under Appendix 4 were able to take advantage of al workstreams available.


65.16  The Consultant confirmed that they had been approached and that a menu of offers had been provided. It was stated that headteachers had agreed to allow their Reading Recovery Teachers to provide training to other school's teachers.


65.17  Councillor McNair noted that there was a culture whereby schools had to buy in expertise and enquired why schools needed to employ specialist teachers. It was further enquired that if this was at significant cost, did schools need companies effectively selling accreditation to schools.


65.18  The Assistant Director - Children & Learning stated that this training was used to make the teachers the best. It was noted that there were areas where extra help was needed and that embarking on evidence based interventions was useful and helpful. It was noted that ECaR was one of the initiatives worth investing in and that there was evidence that this had positive outcomes.


65.19  The Head Teacher of Middle Street School stated some children came to school already able to read however as class sizes were getting larger and that there were children who could not pick this up for all sorts of reasons.


65.20  The Consultant stated that in order to stay accredited, schools needed to keep on with the training.


65.21  The Head of Education Standards & Achievement stated that this was intensive for teachers as the aim was to affect sustainable training across more schools, it was further stated that a better reading programme needed a specialist t4eacher. ECaR was an umbrella term for a multi-layered approach.


65.22  Councillor Hamilton stated that 3 yars ago 18 were operating the program and that now there wer only 10. it was enquired that, of the 10 suing this, were these the 10 schools that needed it the most or were these the 10 schools that could afford it.


65.23  The Consultant stated that this was 10 schools that saw the benefit of having ECaR and so had produced a budget so that they could afford this.


65.24  The Head of Education Standard & Achievement stated that the budget remained the same.


65.25  The Head Teacher of Middle Street School stated that they had fundraised to keep ECaR.


65.26  Councillor Brown noted that it was sad that the National Lottery trust published that children today read less than that of any other generation.


65.27  Councillor Knight noted the concern of schools that couldn't afford toolkits and further expressed concern where schools could be further excluded as they were unable to pay for training.


65.28  The Community Works Representative noted a recent report that stated that investment sin teachers was a cost effective way to improve outcomes for people rather than a large structural overall.


65.29  RESOLVED –


1.    That the information in the report be noted by committee.


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