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Main Literacy… And Perennial Issues

This quick sequence 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 achieve assembly the tutorial calls for of faculty. 

The outdated African proverb goes that it takes a village to boost a toddler. In relation to the difficult process 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 grasp a wealth of points, interact their colleagues, implement change, and consider impression. Typically, it’s a process 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 boundaries for literacy leaders 

An excessive amount of to know and do in too little time. It’s the omnipresent subject for varsity leaders – a scarcity of time to implement the cautious, sustained change that’s vital for improved apply within the classroom. The analysis proof that attends literacy can too usually appear so huge as to seem unmanageable.

Too little focus. So, what’s the literacy precedence of the college: what about bettering studying? Writing? Spelling? Grammar? Tutorial speak? Vocabulary? The listing goes on and every drawback and answer work together with each other. The well-meaning steering to do ‘make fewer however extra strategic decisions’ is tougher than it sounds in the case 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 college leaders lack the levers to enact change, they’ll lack the finances, and in the end the authority vital for the position. 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 complicated and nuanced modifications to the way you educate educational writing or how you can develop pupils who’re scuffling with spelling. 

An excessive amount of reliance on a coverage. You’ll be able to enshrine a listing of purposeful approaches in a nicely organised literacy coverage doc, however then…nicely, faculty 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 yr 5 instructor following the same old spelling coverage when a dyslexic pupil is exhibiting complicated particular person wants? 

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

In the end although, it’s a process value taking over. There isn’t a faculty enchancment precedence that may out-do that of serving to a toddler 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 quick sequence provides literacy leads of all stripes and levels to discover some helpful concepts and methods. Listed below are the proposed matters for upcoming blogs within the sequence:

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