Our approach and impact

In the UK, poverty, literacy and place are closely linked, but every community faces different challenges.

We have been developing a local areas model since 1995. A major review of area-based approaches with the Basic Skills Agency in 2007 fed into local family literacy partnerships established with 21 local authorities in 2008.

This led to the creation of the National Literacy Trust Hub model, with our first Hub launching in Middlesbrough in 2013, followed by Bradford and Peterborough the following year. In 2016 we partnered with Manchester City Council to create Read Manchester and launched a Hub in Stoke-on-Trent. 

We target our work where we can have the greatest impact. There is a range of criteria used for selecting Hub areas, including adult literacy levels, school attainment data at KS2 and GCSE, FSM and deprivation data.

We carry out extensive scoping activity to map existing provision against need and key beneficiaries. We identify and broker partners, between local authorities, libraries, sporting and cultural organisations, faith and voluntary community groups, as well as businesses, health and education organisations. This targeted approach brings real benefits and impact to the local area.

Benefits and impact

Each Hub:

  • Raises literacy levels among the hardest to engage in the area 
  • Integrates resources from community, business, education and local authority partners 
  • Brings national expertise and partners to an area to improve literacy

Our impact:

  • School readiness: more children in Middlesbrough are achieving a Good Level of Development at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, closing the gap with the national average from 22.6 percentage points in 2013 to 6.27 percentage points in 2015
  • Writing: in 2015 more of Bradford’s children and young people aged 11-14 wrote every day or a few times a week outside of school (52.6%), compared to their peers regionally (39.7%) and nationally (44.1%)
  • Reading: the number of Key Stage 2 pupils in Peterborough who enjoy reading increased by 23.4% between 2014 and 2015, rising from 59.8% in 2014 to 73.8% in 2015