Literacy and Learning Seminar

15.10 – Thursday 6th July


Poverty, place and low literacy 

National Literacy Trust Hubs are place-based solutions to intergenerational low literacy. Five are now operating in the UK. The Hubs harness community assets to address poverty and joblessness through campaigning, influencing and supporting literacy attitudes and behaviours. We target wards, groups and communities most at risk of low literacy.

Partnerships are key to our Hub model. The National Literacy Trust link local authorities, libraries, sporting and cultural organisations, faith and voluntary community groups, as well as businesses, health and education organisations.

This presentation will outline the Hub approach, look at some of the data used to identify groups in greatest need and highlight a few case studies as examples.

Jason Vit, Literacy Hubs Manager, National Literacy Trust

Jason Vit manages the National Literacy Trust Hubs around the UK. Since 2012 the Hubs have been developing innovative approaches to raising literacy levels in some of the most deprived communities in the country where low levels of literacy are entrenched, intergenerational and having a major impacting on people’s lives. He also delivers National Literacy Trust consultancy support to help organisations develop their own multiagency responses to the literacy challenge.

Before taking over the management of the Hubs, Jason managed a number of national programmes focused on raising literacy levels among the most disadvantaged in society. He has a background in other education charities and in public speaking and debate training – working with young people in the UK and internationally.

Working with partner agencies to support children and families through early reading
The Bookstart programme is now in its 25th year. It is a unique partnership between BookTrust, Arts Council England, the Welsh Government, publishers across the UK and every local authority across England and Wales. Activity in Northern Ireland is localised, and growing.Within each authority are other unique partnerships between libraries, health visitors, children’s centres, early years settings, cultural organisations and other services. By working together they ensure that every child’s reading journey is supported from birth through programmes which include the gifting of high quality books, resources and expert messaging.Abigail will explore what multi-agency working entails and its benefits as they relate to changes taking place across local government, and will provide library practitioners with a toolkit for working with partner agencies. A short film will include examples of local authorities who are putting children, families and reading at the centre of services by working together through the Bookstart programme.

Abigail Moss, Director, Programmes and Partnerships, BookTrust

Abigail joined BookTrust as Director of Programmes and Partnerships in October 2016. She ensures that BookTrust’s resources, guidance and messaging at every stage of a child’s reading journey generate a love of reading for all children across the UK and that the charity’s activities support the work of a wide range of partners and stakeholders in a child’s life.
Abigail was previously Deputy Director at National Literacy Trust where she led teams working with local authorities, communities and education settings and with a wide range of other partners to test and scale up new approaches to improving literacy levels.
Prior to joining National Literacy Trust in 2010 Abigail led investment into work with children and young people at Arts Council England and spent some time leading London’s Library Change programme. She has also been a secondary school English teacher and an actor and is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of Felix School of Rock in South East London.

Session Chair: Caroline Roche, Librarian, Eltham College 

Caroline Roche is the Librarian at Eltham College, a high performing independent school in south east London. She has been a school librarian for over twenty years, in both state and independent schools. Caroline has served on the CILIPSLG National Committee for 6 years, and is currently Chair of SLG. She runs the SLG twitterfeed (@CILIPSLG) and the SLG Talking Books website. In addition Caroline runs the successful Heart of the School website and twitterfeed (@HeartOTSchool) which she created to showcase best practice from school librarians all over the UK. Caroline has recently hosted and spoken at two successful Regional Training Days at her school, and she has spoken at RTA Conferences and SLA Conferences. She is a passionate advocate for the role of professional school librarians in well run school libraries and is concerned about the number of school libraries closing across the UK.