Talking Politics: Encouraging our children to learn to read is so important

Read on: Youngsters look at books in the classroom.

Read on: Youngsters look at books in the classroom.

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Councillors have a legal responsibility for children in care: we’re “corporate parents”. We often struggle to find ways of putting this into action.

I trained to be a primary school teacher and particularly enjoyed helping children learn to read, so I’ve started to be a reading mentor at my local high school. As I went there to meet my first “reading partner”, I realised that I should be doing this for a ‘looked after’ child. So now I’m going to try to persuade the council and my fellow councillors to become active corporate parents by spending an hour a week as a reading mentor (with appropriate safeguards in place).

This may not appeal to everyone but it’s important that we keep thinking creatively about how we fulfil our responsibilities and different ways of providing services (sometimes at little or no cost except effort and a will to do public service).