Hackney to develop pre-school language mobile app

London Borough of Hackney’s education service is launching a mobile app to overcome language barriers to learning for pre-school children.

Hackney Learning Trust has appointed digital platform supplier Fish in a Bottle to build the app in a contract worth £3m.

The app, which is already under development, will be available to all children aged between three and five across the UK.

In tender award documents, the trust said that the app would aim to “overcome early barriers to educational progress arising from limited or delayed vocabulary, comprehension and early phonology”.

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It said that the app would be developed using a phased approach, comprising pilot, full development, launch, and on-going maintenance phases.

The pilot phase will be targeted at the development of a prototype app to evaluate educational benefit and inform decisions around progression to the full development, launch and maintenance phases.

Further development of the app will not progress unless the full development phase is successful, the trust said.

The four year contract with Fish in a Bottle begins immediately.

In 2002, Hackney Learning Trust became the first private, not-for-profit company in the UK to take over a council’s entire education function.

It is now a department in the children and young people service at London Borough of Hackney.

Colin Marrs

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