Priti highlights Get Witham Reading scheme in Parliament
Witham MP Priti Patel has raised her Get Witham Reading scheme in the House of Commons, securing a promise by Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP to visit the event. During questions to education ministers on 16th January, Priti commented on the importance of improving literacy standards and encouraging reading and asked the Government to show its support for the scheme by visiting it later, this year.
Priti, who started the scheme in 2012, which involves schools and pupils taking part in reading themed activity days, said: “I am delighted to secure the agreement of the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, to come to Witham to see Get Witham Reading in action and how we are encouraging pupils in this part of Essex to read more books. Every year, hundreds of pupils join the scheme and I am pleased that it has helped to raise literacy standards in our schools. “
This year’s Get Witham Reading Day is scheduled for 7th July 2023.
Copy of Priti’s question in the House of Commons, 16 January 2023, Official Report, Column 23, and the answer from the Minister of State for Schools, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP:
Priti Patel (Witham) (Con)
In light of the Government’s new emphasis on numeracy in schools, may I make a plea that the Government do not forget about literacy in schools and in particular how we can continue to raise standards? My initiative “Get Witham Reading” has been running for 10 years now, and I urge colleagues on the Front Bench to come to Witham to see the scheme in action this year and see how it has raised standards in education.
Nick Gibb (Schools Minister)
I could not agree more with my right hon. Friend, and I share her passion, so I would be delighted to come and see the scheme in place in her constituency. We take reading very seriously; we have risen from joint 10th to joint eighth in the progress in international reading literacy study league tables, and in those surveys it is the least able children who are improving fastest.