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Literacy programme 'disappointing'

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An inquiry into the quality of England's primary school education has found millions of pounds of investment to boost reading and writing has had 'small impact'.

The Primary review, based at University of Cambridge, says: "Five hundred million pounds was spent on the National Literacy Strategy with almost no impact on reading levels. Standards of reading have remained more or less the same over a very long time - since the 1950s."

According to the review, a third of primary school children are receiving incorrect assessments in national tests.

It criticises:

  • Policies for lacking a "sound research base" and for not being evaluated thoroughly enough

  • The mode of assessment used, saying pupils are not assessed as rigorously as they should be

National Union of Teachers general secretary Steve Sinnott called for an overhaul of the country's assessment system in light of the review's findings.

But children, schools and families minister Andrew Adonis disputed the findings of the review. He said that primary standards were at record levels with more pupils than ever achieving expected levels

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