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News story

Education Select Committee appearance

17 Nov 2020

Education Select Committee

On Tuesday 3 November, our Chief Executive Jonathan Douglas CBE gave evidence to the Education Select Committee as part of their inquiry into the educational underachievement of pupils from disadvantaged white backgrounds.

We had submitted a consultation response in June and were pleased to be called to give evidence on this important subject.

Jonathan spoke on a panel that focused on educational underachievement in the early years, alongside Ed Vainker CBE, CEO of Reach Academy in Feltham.

Jonathan talked about the causes of educational underachievement and the three interlinked themes that have an impact: the home learning environment, the quality of the settings and formal support, and how the community responds through health provision and services.

The Committee was interested in hearing about the benefits of our placed-based approaches in tackling low literacy levels. Jonathan outlined the benefits that come from us being integrated in communities through our local Hubs and networks.

Speaking about his appearance on the Committee, Jonathan said “Educational underachievement is an issue that affects the life chances of young people across the UK and I’m pleased that the Committee is looking into this important subject. It is great to see the National Literacy Trust is recognised as a leader in the education policy space and I look forward to developing our relationship with the Committee.’

You can see the full clip of Jonathan’s appearance here (Jonathan starts at 11:16).

If you want to be involved in our policy work, including joining us at the Literacy APPG, then please email

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