Parents fight to keep reading scheme

Parents fight to keep reading scheme

A NAILSEA school is fighting to save a scheme which has helped scores of children to improve their reading skills.

The reading recovery scheme is part of the Every Child a Reader programme, which is due to finish at the end of the school year.

At Kingshill School alone 75 children have been given assistance to improve their reading levels and boost their confidence and parents and teachers are desperate for the scheme to continue.

Helen Fowler, who was employed by Kingshill School in 2008 to lead the scheme, said: “It has been very successful. We’ve had 22 children through the scheme and all of them have reached their targets.

“We take children from year one and they do an intensive one-to-one course for 20 weeks and we bring them up to the average reading level for their class.

“Reading is a fundamental skill, which also helps children to better access the curriculum and improve their confidence. It’s very important the scheme carries on.”

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The school also started up its own better reading partners scheme where volunteers from the community come into the school two-three times a week to assist children who need extra help with reading.

Mrs Fowler said: “Since 2008 we’ve had 75 children who have been involved with either that scheme or the reading recovery.

“The volunteers can push a child on by seven levels. We’ve noticed a big improvement in reading at the school as a result of the scheme.

“It will be detrimental if it stops. We will really miss it.”

The school has 10 volunteers who range from grandparents and teaching assistants to governors and churchgoers.

Staff invited MP Liam Fox to the school on Friday to hear from parents whose children have benefited from the scheme. He was also presented with letters from parents urging him to help save the programme.

Paul Jacobs, North Somerset Council’s head of school improvement, said: “Every Child a Reader is a national programme which ends in March because the coalition Government believes schools should make their own decisions about what to provide.

“There will be money in schools budgets which they can choose to spend on the programme, but it will be up to individual schools.”