I was honoured to reply to Alexander Stafford in Westminster Hall yesterday for his important debate on improving children's literacy.
The Government wholeheartedly agrees that the UK will benefit by prioritising literacy. That's why my colleague, Nick Gibb, and the Department for Education have put phonics at the National Curriculum, supported by £3.5bn of funding to support early years & development.
Ensuring every child has access to books from an early age is the best way to ensure children fall in love with reading for pleasure. The work of the Literacy Trust and McDonald's are brilliant examples of improving access to books for every child.
School libraries are incredibly important in ensuring every child can access books, but they are not the only thing that matters. That's why we've introduced the National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy so every school has a literacy expert. Teachers can train in leading literacy, helping to boost standards and drive attainment.
I agree with the Prime Minister that we shouldn't "gobblefunk" with words. I hope children choose to read the original Roald Dahl books as well as new stories too - imagination is a key part of boosting strong reading & writing skills.