More than 1 in 4 children in England start school without having achieved the requisite skills in language and literacy to thrive in education. Children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately affected.
This week, The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, announced a number of projects to help close the disadvantage gap at age 5 by better preparing parents to help their children develop key skills in the earliest years of life.
BIT is proud to be collaborating with the Education Endowment Foundation to run one of these projects, Tips by Text, with the help of our academic partner, Professor Susanna Loeb of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University.
Tips by Text is a 9-month long curriculum delivered via SMS to parents of 4-5 year old children enrolled in primary schools. It aims to help parents develop their children’s language, literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills at home. Parents will receive 3 text messages per week with short, simple, activities to do with their children. For example:
Professor Loeb and her team have tested a version of Tips by Text in the US and found that it improves literacy by the equivalent of 2 months of additional schooling. Over the next few months BIT will adapt and pilot the curriculum in schools in England before launching a randomised controlled trial in 105 schools in the North East in September 2019.
Want to be involved? If your school is based in one of the following counties and you would like to take part, please contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org; Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees or Sunderland.