STORY sessions for parents and appointing a school governor dedicated to improving literacy are some of the ideas that 20 local schools have signed up to.

The Bradford Schools Literacy Pledge involves 20 nursery, primary and secondary schools.

Delivered by the National Literacy Trust, the pledge is part of a push to increase the focus on literacy in the district’s schools, many of which suffer from lower than average literacy levels.

It asks schools to commit to improving literacy in three areas: their overall school strategy, how they engage their communities and in day-to-day classroom work.

At a recent event at Bradford City Hall, one nursery, 13 primary and six secondary schools pledged to undertake 10 different actions across these areas, with a further eight schools also committing to sign the pledge.

Actions they agreed to included running regular story sessions to engage more with parents, completing annual reviews of school reading provision and identifying a school governor to focus on literacy.

Those attending the event heard from Horton Park Primary assistant head teacher Shahnaz Bi, who spoke about her experience running the Our Stories poetry programme. A group of her pupils gave performances of two poems they had written.

Michael Jameson, strategic director of Children’s Services, discussed challenges facing Bradford’s schools and what was being done to overcome them. Representatives from Bradford Literature Festival, libraries, the National Science and Media Museum and the Calderdale Excellence Partnership also spoke.

Schools that sign the pledge receive a year of National Literacy Trust membership.

Imran Hafeez, manager of the Trust’s Bradford Hub, said: “We’re delighted that so many schools have already signed the Bradford Schools Literacy Pledge. It’s a great opportunity to highlight and make a public commitment to the brilliant work many of them are undertaking to inspire pupils and improve their literacy provision in support of the Bradford Stories campaign. A focus on literacy across all subjects is vital to help pupils develop the skills they need to do well throughout school and in later life. We’re looking forward to working with schools to help them fulfil the pledge and we hope that more schools will be inspired to make this commitment to literacy.”