County council scheme helps children catch up with reading skills

A SCHEME which helps children struggling with their early reading skills has supported 700 children since it began four years ago.

The Nottinghamshire County Council-led programme provides intensive, daily, one-to-one tuition for all younger children who need additional support with learning to read or write after their first year at school.

Almost 600 of the children who have already benefited from the Reading Recovery scheme are now achieving age-related outcomes in reading and writing - and many are even working significantly above their peers after being the lowest achievers in their age range.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s committee chairman for children and young people’s service, Coun Philip Owen, said: “It’s great to see what fantastic results this scheme is achieving – it’s bringing about life-changing chances for underachieving and vulnerable children from disadvantaged families and helping to close the gap in attainment between those children and more able pupils.

“Our Reading Recovery teachers have consistently achieved above the national average outcomes in terms of those pupils taught achieving accelerated progress, returning to age appropriate outcomes and being successfully discontinued.”

Funding for the scheme has been prioritised by the council from cash it receives from the Government.

During 2011/12 alone, 324 Notts children benefited from the scheme, and this year a further 500 children will be given one-to-one literacy tuition.

The county council’s two Reading Recovery teacher leaders will train 24 new Reading Recovery teachers and support 42 experienced Reading Recovery teachers during the course of this academic year.

This means that a further 14 schools can be added to the 48 across the county already taking part in the scheme.

Jose Coles, one of the council’s Reading Recovery teacher leaders, added: “Training for Reading Recovery teachers takes a whole year and is intensive. They work with the lowest attaining children individually and support the whole school in managing, providing and monitoring a range of other literacy support with the aim of every child being a reader and writer by the end of Key Stage 1 when a child is seven.”

Reading Recovery teachers work closely with classroom teachers and secure the full commitment of senior school leaders.

The scheme, known as Every Child a Reader, is a Government initiative. It also helps parents and carers to better support their children’s literacy.