TEN schools have signed up to take part in the latest phase of an Oxfordshire schools literacy programme.

In 2012, the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign was launched and more than 1,200 primary school pupils took part over two years.

The campaign, run by the county council and the National Literacy Trust, was launched to counter poor Key Stage 1 results in Oxford for seven-yearolds, which were the worst in the country in 2010.

The campaign, which concluded last year, was a success, boosting pupils’ reading age by 13 months after four months on the scheme.

Now the Gaining Momentum programme has been launched, part of a £1m drive to continue improvement in reading and writing.

Twenty schools will be involved over two years, and the focus will be on students in Years Seven and Eight, aged 11 to 13.

Organisers have secured 10 schools already and are about to start recruiting for the final 10 places.

Susan Aykin, who manages the Oxfordshire Gaining Momentum programme at the National Literacy Trust, said: “We are excited to build on the success of the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.”

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for children, education and families Melinda Tilley said: “The first years at secondary school are a crucial time for children, many of whom need a little extra help to make the progress they need.”

The 10 schools that have signed up to take part in the first year are: Blessed George Napier Catholic School and Sports College in Banbury, Carterton Community College, The Cooper School in Bicester, Faringdon Community College, Gosford Hill School in Kidlington, Henry Box School in Witney, Icknield Community College in Watlington, King Alfred’s Academy in Wantage, Larkmead School in Abingdon and The Warriner School in Bloxham.