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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00852: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support language development in pre-school age children.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 28 June 2016

Curriculum for excellence is setting higher standards than ever before in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing. Results from a recent Growing Up in Scotland study show improvement in three-year-olds’ vocabulary but our ambition is to close the attainment gap altogether. We will bring forward a programme of work focusing on early intervention and improving attainment. This includes the £750 million Scottish attainment fund to boost literacy and numeracy in our most deprived areas, the new national improvement framework, attainment advisers for every local authority and the raising attainment for all programme with over 50 literacy-based school projects.

The Scottish Government recognises that parents also have a key role in supporting their children’s speech and language development and we provide support through campaigns such as Play Talk Read and Bookbug.

We know that a skilled early years workforce is also key to supporting young children’s learning, and that the most disadvantaged children benefit most, which is why First Minister announced in October 2015 that nurseries in the most deprived areas of Scotland will, from 2018, benefit from an additional graduate or teacher in nurseries with early learning expertise.