Bring back Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme - Overend

Ulster Unionist education spokesperson Sandra Overend MLA has repeated her party‘s call for the reinstatement of the Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme, which was discontinued by the Executive last year.

Mrs Overend said:

“Today’s publication of the Change Evaluation Report into the outcomes of the 2013-2015 Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme proves empirically what we knew anecdotally - the project was working and was having a positive impact in schools and helping children achieve their goals in reading and writing.  In both primary and post – primary schools the statistics showing an improvement in numeracy and literacy for participants in this targeted intervention are clear.  In addition, young recent teaching graduates acquired two years of valuable teaching experience through this project.

“However, if this project turns out to be yet another short term measure, then there will be no longer term lasting legacy in terms of pupil achievement.  The issue of the tail of underachievement in basic numeracy and literacy in socio economically deprived areas has been well documented over the past 15 years in report after report.  The proven way to address this is by having targeted interventions such as the Signature Programme.

“In our recent manifesto, the Ulster Unionist Party called for the Literacy and Numeracy Signature Programme to be reinstated.  Given the positive evaluation of the project, I would repeat this call and urge the Minister to act on the findings of this report.”

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