Image default

Main Literacy… And Perennial Issues

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

The previous African proverb goes that it takes a village to lift a baby. With regards to the difficult job of growing expert tutorial readers and writers, it additionally takes the proverbial village. 

Literacy leaders tackle varied guises in these 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, interact their colleagues, implement change, and consider affect. Usually, it’s a job that’s Sisyphean in scale. 

Regardless of the shared understanding of the significance of literacy, these function 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 challenge for varsity leaders – an absence of time to implement the cautious, sustained change that’s essential for improved apply within the classroom. The analysis proof that attends literacy can too usually appear so huge as to look unmanageable.

Too little focus. So, what’s the literacy precedence of the college: what about enhancing studying? Writing? Spelling? Grammar? Tutorial discuss? Vocabulary? The checklist goes on and every downside and resolution work together with each other. The well-meaning steerage to do ‘make fewer however extra strategic decisions’ is more durable than it sounds on the subject of 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 finally the authority essential for the function. Academics comply with folks, 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 educate tutorial writing or tips on how to develop pupils who’re combating spelling. 

An excessive amount of reliance on a coverage. You may enshrine a list of purposeful approaches in a nicely organised literacy coverage doc, however then…nicely, college occurs! Busy academics can battle to comply with insurance policies (and even learn them!). For example, what’s a science instructor to make of supporting writing if they’re comparatively untrained? How assured is a 12 months 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? Effectively, there is no such thing as a magic wand right here. That is tough work, in compromised situations, requiring ample effort and doubtless some luck too. 

Finally although, it’s a job value taking over. There isn’t any college enchancment precedence that may out-do that of serving to a baby to study to learn and write, and to go on to learn and write to study. It might take the entire village, and sensible literacy leads, however it’s important work value doing.


This brief collection presents literacy leads of all stripes and levels to discover some helpful concepts and techniques. Listed here are the proposed subjects for upcoming blogs within the collection:

  • Main Literacy…And Influencing Academics
  • Main Literacy…And Purposeful Skilled Growth
  • Main Literacy…And Speaking Complexity
  • Main Literact…And Evaluating Impression