Evaluating the Effectiveness of the National Literacy Strategy: Identifying Indicators of Success.

Fay Smith, Frank Hardman, Maria Mroz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In 1998, the British Government introduced the National Literacy Strategy (NLS) in all state primary schools (encompassing students aged 5-11) in England in a bid to raise literacy standards. A year earlier, 13 local education authorities were involved in the piloting of the project, including the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The first Newcastle cohort of primary schools (n=19) implemented the project in January 1997, the second cohort (n=20) began in September 1997. Each cohort consisted of 3 different year groups (Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3). The aim of this project was to focus upon exam results from these schools and thereby identify possible predictors of success (e.g. socio-economic status, gender, teaching and learning style). As well as looking for differences within each cohort, the project also looked at differences between the two cohorts. In addition to this, in-depth case studies of three of the schools were conducted. Each case study involved a further analysis of pupil-level data, interviews with key staff, and observations of the "literacy hour" in action. The wider implications of the findings for the implementation of the NLS and for the training needs of teachers are also considered. Findings suggest: (1) scores are improving, but maintaining that progress could be difficult; (2) evidence from teachers indicates a gap is opening up between the more able and less able children; (3) there was a general feeling that none of the current tests were adequate measures of success; and (4) teachers in this sample are embracing the NLS. (Contains 35 figures and 13 tables of data.) (RS).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 1999
EventEuropean Conference on Educational Research - Lahti, Finland
Duration: 22 Sept 199925 Sept 1999


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research

Bibliographical note

Database: ERIC

Record type: New.

Language: English

DataStar source field: Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (Lahti, Finland, September 22-25, 1999). , June 8, 1999, pp. 50, ISBN: 0-7017-0087-4.

DataStar update date: 20040101

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