Leveraging Literacy at Secondary School

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School leaders are uniquely placed to impact literacy

Sometimes it’s difficult, in the maelstrom of school life, to step back and look objectively at literacy. While at first literacy may seem just a single strand of the curriculum, a deeper examination will often show how students’ behaviour and overall progress are tied to – or indeed, limited by – their reading and writing skills. Senior leaders are uniquely placed to create the conditions for literacy to flourish.

Desert iris (Shutterstock)

If asked to choose the single strategy that senior leaders can implement to make the most difference for the lowest cost, I would say that the key is introducing whole cohort screening with follow-up individual testing for lower-scoring students. It is clear that you have to have good data before you can deploy your resources most effectively. But while a standardised test is a good starting point, it will need more detailed individual…

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