Basic Skills: Wellingborough

Department for Education written question – answered at on 24 May 2024.

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Photo of Gen Kitchen Gen Kitchen Labour, Wellingborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department has taken to improve children's oracy skills in Wellingborough constituency.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

​​​​The department recognises the importance of oracy, which is why spoken language is part of the national curriculum for English for 5 to 16 year olds.

In early years, the department is investing up to £17 million in the Nuffield Early Language Intervention, improving the language skills of reception age children who need it most following the pandemic. In addition, the department have secured over £28 million to support the speech and language of young children worst affected by the pandemic, today’s 3 and 4 year olds, delivered through the new Family Hubs network.

In secondary schools, the GCSE English Language qualification ensures that students are able to listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively. 2023 data published by Ofqual shows that overall entries to GCSE English Language increased by 4.9% in summer 2023, compared to summer 2022. This data can be found here:

The department funds the National Poetry Recitation Competition, which encourages both primary and secondary schools to participate to improve pupils’ knowledge and enjoyment of poetry and to improve oracy through poetry recitation and recall. The competition provides an opportunity for pupils to enjoy sharing poems aloud.

The £67 million English Hubs Programme, launched in 2018, is dedicated to improving the teaching of reading, with a focus on phonics, early language development and reading for pleasure. Since its launch, the English Hubs Programme has provided appropriate and targeted support to several thousands of schools across England.

Wellingborough’s local English Hub, Roade English Hub, is working hard to engage and support primary schools across the region. Currently, 45 schools are receiving intensive partner school support from Roade English Hub. This is in addition to the 32 schools that have already graduated from the programme.

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