National Literacy Trust Conference

Published: 16 February 2006

Every Child Matters: Closing the literacy achievement gap – the importance of home and community approaches

20 March 2006, Kensington Town Hall, London

Why this conference?

In view of the opportunities for bridging the achievement gap offered by the implementation of Every Child Matters, this conference will focus on how literacy can be effectively supported in the home and community.

Through a combination of research dissemination, practical examples and lively debate, the conference will explore the ways in which interaction across sectors at both a policy and practical level can make a positive impact on literacy development in the home and the Every Child Matters: Change for Children agenda.

Who should attend?

Children’s services directors, culture and sports policymakers, early years professionals, family learning coordinators, health professionals, learning and skills directors, primary and secondary headteachers, regional agencies, voluntary and community sector senior staff, elected members

The conference is likely to fill quickly and early booking is recommended.


Voluntary sector and schools: £175 (1 delegate) / £300 (2 delegates)
Others: £200 (1 delegate) / £350 (2 delegates)


Ronan Cahill on 020 7828 2435 or


9.30     Registration and refreshments
10.00   Welcome : Neil McClelland, Director, National Literacy Trust
10.10   Addressing underachievement: why we need a community literacy strategy: Viv Bird, 
           Project Director, Literacy and Social Inclusion, National Literacy Trust, presents the 
           evidence from the three-year Literacy and Social Inclusion project
10.40    Every Child Matters: bridging the achievement gap : Tom Jeffery, Director-General, Children,
           Young People and Families, Department for Education and Skills, outlines his vision
           of the opportunities presented by the Every Child Matters agenda
11.10    Investigating the influences:   Professor John Bynner of the Institute of Education reports on the
            connections between parents’ and children’s literacy skills in the light of his large-scale longitudinal
            research findings
11.30    Refreshment break
11.50    A strategic approach to supporting literacy in the home:  Terry Piggott, Children’s Services Director, 
           Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, describes Rochdale’s approach to developing a community 
           literacy strategy that supports schools as well as wider community-cohesion objectives
12.30   Questions to the panel
1.00     Lunch
2.00     Change on the ground: successes and continued challenges
           Contributions from:
           *   William Atkinson, Headteacher, Phoenix High School, Hammersmith, on the literacy challenge
                and some solutions; 
           *   Steve Davies, Headteacher, Coopers Lane Primary School, Lewisham, on getting dads on board;
                and Peter Silva, Chief Executive, Peers Early Education Partnership (PEEP), Oxford, on parental
                involvement in support of early language and literacy – The PEEP Birth to School Study
2.45    Refreshment break
3.00    Table discussions
3.30    Discussion group feedback
3.45    Summary : Neil McClelland
4.00    Close