We know that when young children close their literacy gap, they become more confident, more resilient and more ambitious for themselves. All our experience shows that once a child successfully closes their literacy gap, this progress can have a profound and positive impact on the rest of their learning.

However, 44% of disadvantaged children still leave primary school behind their peers and this can make the transition to secondary school especially challenging for them. Their poor literacy will hold them back with their learning across all their subjects, even maths. Without the necessary literacy skills, children can easily disengage from school, leading to truanting, poor exam results and ultimately, lost life chances.

“I have learnt that praising the Reader is so important because it makes them feel more confident.”

“Reader Leader has motivated me to read more interesting and enjoyable books. It’s a great start to the day.”

“Asking the Reader comprehension questions has improved my own comprehension and the way that I think about the books that I read,”

Our Reader Leader mentoring programme for secondary schools helps to address this problem and support a culture of reading across a school.

Run as one-day course in schools, we train students in Years 10-12 (our Leaders) to be reading mentors to pupils in Year 7 and 8 (the Readers). Once set up in a school, the programme usually runs for 18 weeks or more.

The Leaders learn how to be reading mentors and gain knowledge in phonics, word knowledge and the reading process as well as understanding barriers to learning and how to be an effective mentor. The training is fully supported with information packs and resources.

Teachers say Reader Leader helps to embed a culture of reading across a school: giving older students invaluable skills and raising literacy levels for younger pupils, allowing them to engage more effectively with their studies.

Under our previous name, Springboard, the charity ran this training successfully for many years and we have now updated the programme to meet the needs of today’s secondary school pupils as well as introducing a primary school model for Year 6 pupils to mentor Year 2 and 3 children.

If you are interested in either secondary or primary Reader Leader mentoring training, please contact: Julie Taylor on julie.taylor@theclc.org.uk