Department for Education

Part of Estimates Day – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education) 5:19 pm, 3rd July 2018

I will not take any interventions for the moment, if my hon. Friend will forgive me.

In addition to the funding distributed through the NFF, eligible pupils will also attract the pupil premium, which has a specific focus on raising the attainment of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds—we are talking about £2.4 billion this year. As a result, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has closed by 10%, and standards are rising in our schools.

Our focus on phonics has transformed the way reading is taught in our primary schools. When we introduced the phonics screening check in 2012, just 58% of the six-year-olds taking the test reached the expected standard. Last year, that 58% had risen to 81%. However, we need to go further to ensure that every primary school is using the best approach to teaching reading. That is why we have funded phonics roadshows and why we are rolling out English hubs across the country to promote, and train schools in, the use of systematic synthetic phonics in the teaching of reading. We want every child in every primary school to be a fluent reader.