Essex gets £500,000 fund from Department for Education to improve boys’ English results

The funding will go towards helping boost attainment in English lessons. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The funding will go towards helping boost attainment in English lessons. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Essex County Council has secured £500,000 in government funding to carry out a special project to boost the attainment of boys in English lessons.

Data from the council’s education team has found that boys underperform in English in key stages one, two and three in comparison with their female peers.

The council applied for a grant through the Department for Education’s Strategic School improvement Fund (SSIF) launched earlier this year, and has now been confirmed to have been awarded £500,000 in funding to address the issue.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “We are committed to ensuring all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and work very closely with the county’s schools.

“Data shows that boys in Essex typically underperform in English in key stages one-three and we are delighted to have successfully secured funding for an exciting new programme to help reverse that trend.

“Good literacy and comprehension are vital in ensuring young people are well equipped for later education and employment.”

The project will be a collaborative scheme with teaching school alliances in Essex – leading schools which work with a number of partner schools to provide training and development – with different stages for each key stage.

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Among the development will be in teaching phonics, fluency and comprehension in reading.

The tie-up means more than 80 schools of both primary and secondary level will be involved.

Willa Jackson from the North East Essex Teaching School Alliance, said: “Having been involved from the outset in contributing to the Essex SSIF bid with the other Essex TSAs, we are delighted by the news that the Essex bid has been successful.

“We are looking forward to our involvement with the centres of excellence, particularly in developing key staff from our partner primary schools to train and lead the phonics teaching.

“It is important that the project has been given funding in order to boost the attainment of boys particularly in reading and writing as these fundamental skills underpin access to the wider curriculum and are indeed vital life skills.”

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