Backbench Business

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:29 pm on 15 June 2023.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 3:29, 15 June 2023

Although this part of my speech focuses on children, I very much accept the point about people having a love of reading throughout their life. I want to mention the positive work, which I hope is welcomed across the House, in schools to improve literacy and give that love of reading to young people. The English hubs programme promotes a love of reading and spreads best practice in teaching pupils to read. It supports schools in England in providing excellent phonics and early language teaching. The hon. Lady will be able to help us with what happens in Scotland. The ability to teach reading, particularly through the use of phonics, is very much recognised. Through the hub programme, literary specialists provide tailored support to schools, including by running events to showcase excellent practice in teaching and reading, and by working with local schools to develop their practice. So far, it has supported 1,600 schools intensively, and focuses on supporting the children who are making the slowest progress in reading, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds.