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CLPE – Improving literacy for 50 years

primary age children shown in classroom engaged in a reading activity

In 2022, the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is celebrating its 50th Birthday. CLPE is a charity that has been leading thinking and practice in the teaching of literacy in primary schools for 50 years.

CLPE was originally set up by the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) to support teachers in primary schools ‘to understand the nature and function of language and foster literacy in the fullest sense’. We are now an independent charity working across the UK – and beyond – but we continue to work to that original intention.  In the past 10 years we have built on the CLPE legacy of practice, knowledge and research and influenced the teaching of literacy in a myriad of ways. 

Changing classroom bookshelves

We work with thousands of teachers each year and 50,000 more use our online resources. The CLiPPA, Schools Shadowing Scheme, our poetry CPD and online resources have changed the perception of children’s poetry and supported schools to see it as a fundamental aspect of children’s literacy.

With Power of Pictures we have worked to research and prove the importance and impact of creative approaches, self-efficacy and time for ideation in children’s writing, giving children who would never normally be seen as writers the tools to express themselves and shine. Our work around Reflecting Realities part of which involved publishing the figures on representation in children’s literature – has given teachers and those who work in publishing a framework and a language to talk about representation. Our classroom-based CPD has helped teachers put an inclusive literacy curriculum in place and literally changed the makeup of classroom bookshelves across the land.

Through these research projects, through the Power of Reading and through our accessible resources and CPD programmes, we continue to foster literacy in its fullest sense. During turbulent and uncertain times, our research-based practical training has helped teachers make sense of policy with integrity, giving them all they need to ensure that the children in their classrooms have the knowledge, skills and motivation to become real readers and writers. 

High quality literature and literacy

CLPE’s expert teaching team possesses a wide range of expertise that covers all aspects of literacy practice across the primary age range. Most importantly, they are all experienced primary teachers who have held senior positions in schools. CLPE’s team are the heart of the charity, their extensive knowledge and experience of primary literacy ensuring that our training, resources and research are all based on best practice and are highly effective.

Our charity’s passion is high quality literature and primary literacy, which we embody in everything we do. Every penny spent with us goes back into improving literacy learning and research to support collective knowledge around high quality provision and practice, so that children can acquire all the literacy skills they need.

Our vision is to raise the literacy achievement of children by putting quality children’s literature at the heart of all learning. We do this by offering a wide variety of support to primary teachers, including:

We look forward to working with many more teachers and schools this year, and to celebrating and building upon our literacy legacy.

Celebrate CLPE’s 50th birthday and discover all the celebrations coming up.



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