Parents and families are being urged to play a greater role in helping their children to learn the Three Rs as part of a new government-led campaign.
The move comes amid mounting criticism of the gap between education levels in affluent and less affluent parts of Scotland, which the government says will be addressed by the initiative.
The Read, Write, Count campaign is aimed at younger children in primaries one, two and three and is part of a push to drive down the gap between education levels in rich and poor areas.
It calls for parents and families to include reading, writing and counting in everyday activities, such as going to the supermarket or travelling home from school.
All children in the early years of primary will now receive a gift of books and literacy and numeracy materials through their school. Special support will also be provided in some communities to support parents, families and communities.
Education secretary Angela Constance launched the initiative at Craigswood Sports Centre in Livingston yesterday.
“Ensuring children read, write and count well early is key to their success at school and in life,” she said.
“Read, Write, Count will bring some exciting new and fun ideas into the mix. Crucially, it will encourage parents and families to play a key role in helping their children – something all the evidence suggests can have a big impact on how well children do at school.
“It’s understandable that any parent or carer could feel daunted about playing a part in their child’s education. That’s why our campaign offers support on bringing fun and learning in to everyday activities with their child to make life happier and easier. Whether it’s in the supermarket, on the way to school, at bedtime or sitting down for a meal, learning isn’t just for classrooms or homework.”
Labour’s new leader in Scotland Kezia Dugdale has attacked the education attainment gap and stepped up her criticism on a trip to a nursery in Paisley yesterday.
“I want a Scotland where a child’s ability to get on in life is determined by their potential, hard work and ambition, not where they were born or how much their parents earn,” she said.
“The collective performance of Scottish politics in recent years just hasn’t been good enough. Those in government – both the Tories at Westminster and the SNP in Edinburgh – haven’t taken the bold action needed to close the gap between rich and poor.
“For as long as there remains a single child in poverty we can never be satisfied as a nation.”