HC Deb 16 February 1999 vol 325 c716W
Dan Norris

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the impact on standards of literacy in infant, junior and primary schools of the literacy hour. [71067]

Ms Estelle Morris

The Literacy Hour began in infant, junior and primary schools in September 1998. The vast majority of teachers are teaching the daily hour, which has had a considerable impact on teaching methods and organisation of lessons. Evaluations of the pilot National Literacy Project, published in December 1998 by OFSTED and the NFER, confirm that the Literacy Hour is based on teaching methods that will raise standards. Children who started some way below the national average in their reading scores made 8 to 12 months progress above what would normally be expected, in less than two years.