Agenda item

SEAC/17/13 Funding Request: Let's Talk Reading

Minutes:

44.1.    Mr John Helleur and Ms Clair Pyper from the Let’s Talk Reading Project gave a presentation with the following key points:

·           The South East Area Committee previously provided £5,000 to this project to help improve low literacy levels at age 11 at Ipswich Academy. The project would be run for 10 years.

·           The project seeked to engage with those schools with poor literacy performance, to work with parents to encourage them to read with their children from an early age, signpost those parents who were struggling to read to adult tutoring and raise awareness of literacy issues.

·           1 in 6 adults in England were unable to read well enough to succeed in modern life; in the most disadvantaged areas, this could be as high as 1 in 3 people.

·           In its first year, the project obtained £7,500 funding for participating schools for literacy improvements, distributed 500 book bags for 2-year olds and 200 ‘teach a friend to read’ manuals, and engaged with a variety of agency partners.

·           These initiatives had resulted in KS2 SAT Reading Test improvements.

·           This year the project would focus on early years via the Suffolk Babies antenatal/postnatal classes and through the provision of reading volunteers in schools and nurseries via Beanstalk and Volunteer Matters.

·           Book bags would also be distributed for the next year of 2-year olds.

·           Other initiatives would include engagement with hard to reach parents with literacy problems, schools focus via the Reading Pledge, volunteers being trained through the Read Easy charity and consideration of the impact of health issues on reading, such as dyslexia and Irlen’s syndrome.

44.2.    Councillor Cook: The results are impressive, so consideration should be given to awarding this project £5,000 as previously.

44.3.    Councillor Connelly: This project has an immense scope and would be plugging gaps in other organisations’ funding, but it would be solving literacy problems.  There appears to be £5,000 of administration costs for each area; is there sufficient resource to deliver the project?
The total administration was approximately £20,000, which has been split across four Area Committees.  Some of the work was being undertaken on a voluntary basis by Mr Helleur, Ms Pyper and Mr Annabel; expansion of the project depended on other organisations being able to deliver the plan.

44.4.    Councillor Connelly:  Suffolk Babies are based in Kesgrave – why is this service not being delivered in Ipswich?
Suffolk Babies were set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC) to run ante-natal classes and have taken over the classes that used to be run by the NHS.  They provide services in Ipswich, with free classes at the Wellington Centre and the Treehouse Centre in Ipswich, and fundraise to be able to deliver these classes.

44.5.    Councillor Debman: This is a 10-year project – will funding applications be made to the Area Committees in future years?
Yes, applications would be made if the Area Committee continue to support this initiative.

44.6.    Councillor Debman:  How will the project ‘involve local businesses’?
£200 has been allocated to promote the project through window stickers.

44.7.    Councillor Debman: In the financial summary, the Council has already allocated £10,000 to this project.
That funding was granted last year; this year, the Project has applied for funding from the Area Committees instead.

44.8.    Councillor Cook proposed that £5,000 be granted to the Let’s Talk Reading Project and this was agreed.

Resolved:

 

that the South East Area Committee approve funding of £5,000 from the South East Area Committee as a contribution towards the Let’s Talk Reading project.

Reason: To improve child and adult literacy in South East Ipswich through interventions and additional support to children and families

Supporting documents: