Ilsham English Hub

Reading for pleasure

Early language development

We are delighted that Ilsham C of E Academy has been named as one of 34 English Hubs appointed by the Department for Education, that serve all the regions of England. Our English Hub Lead will drive this exciting project – please direct enquiries about the English Hubs programme to Emma Bone, English Hub Strategic Lead, or Danni Cooke, English Hub Lead.

We began our journey as an English Hub, in October 2018 and with the support and expertise of partners across our South West region; our first year has been hugely successful. Ilsham English Hub has grown out of our base school, Ilsham C of E Academy which is the founding school in The Learning Academy Partnership and designated as All Saints Teaching School. Ilsham C of E Academy was designated as an English Hub due to the track record in excellent phonics and reading outcomes. Our work also builds upon the DFE Phonics Partnership Project and the DFE SSIF Phonics project which many of you have been part of. Our drive as an English Hub is to ensure that partnership and collaboration is at the heart of all that we do and from day one we have been seeking a way to do things differently and a way to share and use the excellent practice which exists within schools.

The Leading Team:

Emma Bone, English Hub Strategic Lead (

Danni Cooke, English Hub Lead (

Jenny Rayner, English Hub Administrator (

Our Literacy Specialists:

Laura Ferran

Vicky Grant

Jade Pook

Rachel Hine

Lucy Parsons

Laura Williams

Charlotte Rowe

Laura Carr

2018 – 2020

Support to date has consisted of the following:

  • Showcase events – sharing best practice in phonics, early language development and reading for pleasure 
  • Workshop events – sharing research based evidence and practical ideas and resources to take away to benefit every child.
  • Bespoke school support – action planning and development work over 2-3 days per school
  • Funding – up to £6000 for those who meet the eligibility criteria, £3000 match funding for other schools to purchase phonics resources or training

What we achieved in 2018-19:

187 schools and nearly 400 participants have, to date, attended one of our funded showcase events and made a referral into our English Hub The target set for us by the DfE was 85 schools so we are delighted that in choosing to work a little differently across our geographical region, in partnership with you all, has enabled many more schools to engage with the work of our Hub.

What we achieved in 2019-20:

287 schools received medium support, whilst 20 schools received intensive support.  A total of 105 new schools engaged with our Hub during this year.

Our designated geographical region covers 9 distinct areas: North Devon, Mid Devon, Exeter, West Somerset, Taunton Deane, South Hams, Teignbridge, Plymouth and Torbay and we are thrilled that the engagement across each of these geographical areas has been excellent. We have only been able to achieve this as a result of working collectively with Teaching Schools, Local Authorities and MATs and the Diocese. 

How can you get involved?

Contact Us:


  • To self refer into the English Hub, and keep up-to-date about up and coming CPD including our showcases, please email or telephone 07415 023946
  • Attend our showcases and workshops
  • Follow us on Twitter 
  • If you would like to speak to our English Hub Lead please email with your contact details  and she will be in touch as soon as possible.
  • Please note: English Hub Lead normal working days are Wednesday to Friday.