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Main Literacy… And Perennial Issues

This quick collection is focused at literacy leaders – both Literacy Coordinators, Studying Leads, or Curriculum Deputies and so forth. – with a key position in main literacy to make sure that pupils entry the curriculum and reach assembly the tutorial calls for of college. 

The outdated African proverb goes that it takes a village to boost a baby. In the case of the difficult activity of creating expert educational readers and writers, it additionally takes the proverbial village. 

Literacy leaders tackle numerous guises in these very important collective efforts of the ‘village’, from ‘literacy coordinators’, to ‘studying leads’, curriculum deputies, Belief leaders, and extra. They’re anticipated to know a wealth of points, have interaction their colleagues, implement change, and consider affect. Usually, it’s a activity that’s Sisyphean in scale. 

Regardless of the shared understanding of the significance of literacy, these position face perennial issues and near-insurmountable challenges.

5 widespread obstacles for literacy leaders 

An excessive amount of to know and do in too little time. It’s the omnipresent situation for college leaders – an absence of time to implement the cautious, sustained change that’s essential for improved observe within the classroom. The analysis proof that attends literacy can too typically appear so huge as to look unmanageable.

Too little focus. So, what’s the literacy precedence of the college: what about bettering studying? Writing? Spelling? Grammar? Educational speak? Vocabulary? The checklist goes on and every drawback and resolution work together with each other. The well-meaning steering to do ‘make fewer however extra strategic selections’ is more durable than it sounds in relation to main literacy.

Too little standing. It’s a widespread prevalence for literacy roles to be perceived as junior management alternatives. This notion is flawed as too little standing can imply that faculty leaders lack the levers to enact change, they will lack the finances, and in the end the authority essential for the position. Academics comply with individuals, not insurance policies, so the literacy lead wants significant authority and belief.

Too disconnected from different priorities and practices. Busy academics are assailed by priorities. When it comes right down to it, understandably, classroom administration and curriculum ‘protection’ can supersede advanced and nuanced modifications to the way you train educational writing or methods to develop pupils who’re scuffling with spelling. 

An excessive amount of reliance on a coverage. You possibly can enshrine a list of purposeful approaches in a effectively organised literacy coverage doc, however then…effectively, college occurs! Busy academics can battle to comply with insurance policies (and even learn them!). As an example, what’s a science instructor to make of supporting writing if they’re comparatively untrained? How assured is a yr 5 instructor following the same old spelling coverage when a dyslexic pupil is exhibiting advanced particular person wants? 

So, what’s the resolution for beleaguered literacy leads? Nicely, there is no such thing as a magic wand right here. That is tough work, in compromised circumstances, requiring ample effort and doubtless some luck too. 

In the end although, it’s a activity price taking up. There is no such thing as a college enchancment precedence that may out-do that of serving to a baby to be taught to learn and write, and to go on to learn and write to be taught. It could take the entire village, and sensible literacy leads, however it is important work price doing.


This quick collection presents literacy leads of all stripes and phases to discover some helpful concepts and methods. Listed below are the proposed subjects for upcoming blogs within the collection:

  • Main Literacy…And Influencing Academics
  • Main Literacy…And Purposeful Skilled Improvement
  • Main Literacy…And Speaking Complexity
  • Main Literact…And Evaluating Influence