has been announced by Scottish secretary Donald Dewar who has
allocated an additional£36m to build on 'the Programme's success in
raising standards of literacy and numeracy in the early years of primary school.' Mr Dewar also highlighted some of the specific educational innitiatives which will benefit as a result of this additional funding.
'A year ago we announced a three year Early Intervention Programme
as part of our commitment to raise standards in our schools, and said
that all Primary 1 and 2 children should acquire the basic learning
skills at this stage in their school career.
'Today I am announcing the rolling out of the Programme from three
to five years. I want more children to benefit from the Programme and
from April 1999 the government will double its contribution from
£7m to£14m per year allowing education authorities to build on the excellent work already undertaken.
This extra cash will allow:
- the focus on literacy to be expanded to include numeracy
- more support for home/school links and initiatives such as schemes to help parents support their children's learning eg listening to their reading
- increased numbers of classroom assistants to allow teachers to work
more closely on individual needs
- targeting of schools under performing on reading and numeracy
- special focus of resources on areas with social exclusion problems
'This announcement, which means that over the full five year period
we will have provided an additional£56m, reflects the importance
the Government attaches to the early achievement of basic skills in
reading, writing and numeracy. A good grounding in these basic skills
is essential if pupils are to achieve their full potential at all later stages of their learning.
'The Early Intervention Programme will work alongside other
measures put in place to get the early years right, investing in the early years avoid the costs of later failure.
- from next winter there will be a pre -school nursery place for every
-£30m package for childcare
-£23m for out of school activities with government support programme in one in four primary schools
-£3m alternatives to exclusion pilot scheme
'This significant expansion of early intervention underpins our wider
policies for increasing the achievement of targets in literacy and
numeracy in primary schools and is critical to meeting our social
'Early intervention is vitally important for children with special
educational needs and the Programme acknowledges this. We will
double the programme's existing provision of£500,000 per year to
£1m per year for specialist training for classroom staff working with
pupils with special educational needs.'
1. The government's Early Intervention Programme was launched
by Brian Wilson, Scottish education minister, on 23 June 1997.
2. The government's original contribution was£7m in
1997-98. This will increase to£14m per year from 1 April 1999
and the life of the programme will be extended to five years up to
2001/2. The value of the government contribution to the Programme
will be£56m over the five year period.
3. The Early Intervention Programme aims to help education
authorities develop early intervention schemes designed to improve
basic literacy (reading and writing) and numeracy skills in primary
years 1 and 2. There are now local early intervention schemes
operating in all education authority areas in Scotland. These have been drawn up by authorities themselves to take account of local needs and circumstances.
4. Expansion of the scheme will support authorities to widen the
focus of their early intervention work. In addition extension of the
programme complements the government's wider policies for the
development of universal pre-school provision, the raising of standards in schools and will contribute to its social exclusion agenda.