THE impact of major literacy schemes on the reading levels of Bradford’s youngsters will be discussed at a public forum.

The district’s next Public Forum for Education, held tomorrow, will look at how The Literacy Hub, run by the National Literacy Trust, and the annual Bradford Literature Festival are supporting pupils across the district.

The district has lagged behind the national average for literacy rates for years, and turning this around has been seen as a major priority for Bradford.

The National Literacy Trust set up a specialist Bradford Hub in 2014, designed to boost the number of local children who read for pleasure for pleasure.

Since then there have been numerous projects, including a major push to get more dads reading with their kids.

The Trust has also worked with the Bradford Literature Festival, which was set up in 2015, and has ballooned in popularity each year.

As well as the dozens of children’s events that take place every year as part of the festival, there is a specialised school’s programme, which sees authors visiting local schools, pupils attending talks and workshops and the chance for classes to play a major part in some of the events.

The public forum will discuss how these programmes, and similar events, have helped boost literacy in Bradford.

Key speakers at the event will include: Jason Vit, the Literacy Hubs Manager; Syima Aslam, the Director of Bradford Literature Festival; and Imran Hafeez, Bradford’s Literacy Hub Manager.

The event will also provide an overview from Bradford Council about innovation in language and communication teaching. Presentations will be followed by table discussions and questions to the panel.

Anyone with an interest is welcome and parents, governors and young people have been invited to attend.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children’s services, said: “The Literacy Hub and Literature Festival show Bradford’s ambition to engage young people in reading and writing. This forum is a great way for parents, teachers and young people to find out more about these important initiatives.”

Coun Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “Improving literacy amongst students is so important if our young people are to get the best education and life chances. This forum will show how innovative initiatives can support this ambition.”

A recent report by the Literacy Trust found that more local young people aged 11 to 14 were writing every day or a few times a week outside school hours. The trust surveyed children involved in activities and found 52.6 per cent wrote regularly outside school, compared to 39.7 per cent regionally and 44.1 per cent nationally. 63.5 per cent of young people in Bradford agreed that if they were good readers, they would get a better job when they grew up, compared to their peers in Yorkshire and Humber (49.9 per cent).

The forum will takes place tomorrow from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm in the Hockney Room at Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way.

For more information or to book a place, email or call 01274 434335.