Firms appointed to run English hubs training centre

A firm run by a phonics expert championed by Nick Gibb will lead a new training centre to develop literacy specialists – as two more English hubs are announced.

Ruth Miskin Training will run the centre to provide training for up to 34 English hubs leaders and 180 literacy specialists.

The firm is run by Ruth Miskin, who was appointed a CBE in the New Year’s Honours and whose work on phonics has been praised by schools minister Nick Gibb.

The centre will focus on three priority areas: age-appropriate phonics provision; early language development; and promoting a love of reading.

The government said the appointment was made after a competitive tender process, and funding comes from the £26.3 million announced for English hubs by former education secretary Justine Greening last year.

The total number of English hubs has now also reached 34 after two more were announced today. Horsendale School in Nottingham will open the Flying High English Hub, and Heather Avenue Infant School in Norfolk will open the Wensum Trust English Hub.

Gibb said: “Our English Hubs programme is already helping children up and down the country benefit from the highest standards of teaching expertise. That is why I’m delighted to see two more hubs opening, helping to spread best practice in the teaching of reading.”

The Department for Education said literacy specialists will be given training in the principles for implementing all systematic synthetic phonics teaching; the conditions necessary for early language development; and habits that build a strong reading school.

They will also then receive specific training in the phonics programme the partner school is using; and in a new free language and storytelling programme.

The centre will be run in association with I CAN, the National Literacy Trust, Sounds Write, Jolly Phonics, Sounds Discovery, Phonics International and Floppy Phonics.

Miskin has also received government funding under the teaching and leadership fund and the opportunity areas scheme.

The work of the English Hubs and the training centre will be overseen by an English Hubs Council that includes leading phonics and reading experts and headteachers. The names are yet to be announced.