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Disadvantaged children who are behind in the 'three Rs' at the age of seven already have their life chances determined, according to Save the Children.

Pebbles Children's Centre in Basingstoke hosted the launch of the Giant Wiggle, a sponsored conga campaign in aid of Action for Children based on best-selling children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Malorie Blackman, who has won many awards for writing books for teenagers, is the new Children's Laureate.

The National Gallery is holding the Imaginary Worlds Family Festival during half term.

The charity Booktrust has launched a new fundraising drive to help the UK's most vulnerable children through the power of stories and reading.

The minister for children and families, Edward Timpson MP, visited Stonegrove Children's Centre in Edgware, Barnet to celebrate the progress made by children and their families through the Early Language Development Programme (ELDP).

Just under six out of ten six-year-olds met the standard required by the new phonics reading check, the results of the first year of the test show.

More than eight in ten Year 1 teachers in primary schools believe that the phonics check for six-year-olds should be scrapped, according to a survey by teaching unions.

Male reading volunteers in schools and parenting programmes that focus on fathers are among the recommendations of a major report into how to tackle the gap between boys and girls in reading.

Teaching unions have joined forces to protest against the phonics screening check, which all six-year-olds will have to take in the next few weeks.