Law firm staff help children improve literacy and numeracy skills

Irwin Mitchell staff helping Chaucer School pupils in 2016
Irwin Mitchell staff helping Chaucer School pupils in 2016
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Staff from a law firm are giving up their lunch breaks to help students from a Sheffield secondary school improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

A group of 17 members of staff from Irwin Mitchell are spending one lunch hour each week helping Year 7 students from Chaucer School, in Parson Cross.

The scheme is managed by Business In The Community through the Prince’s Responsible Business Network.

Last year, through the same initiative, Irwin Mitchell, helped all the children involved in the scheme improve their reading age by between two to three years.

The law firm is providing taxi’s for staff to transport them from their city centre premises to the school.

Once there, they are spending 30 minutes listening to their allocated child read or helping them with maths exercises, before heading back to the office.

Associate director at Irwin Mitchell, Karen Codling, who leads on the school partnership, said: “It has been incredible to see the improvement in the reading and mathematics skills of the children, all of those taking part in the scheme improving their reading ages by two to three years.

“From a business point of view the number of our staff volunteering to take part in the scheme and help the children continues to grow, all of them reporting back about just how much they enjoy taking part and help in the development of the students.”

Charles Solomon, an administrator on the firm’s personal injury team, is now into his third year of volunteering on the scheme and said: “I think Right to Read and Number Partners are a fantastic opportunity to help make a real difference; it’s amazing to see the improvement over the weeks. Not to mention it’s really fun.”

Chaucer School's assistant headteacher, Dave Mountford, said: “Right to Read has been invaluable in helping groups of students receive additional support that has had a significant impact on their reading ages.

"This is helping them increase their confidence in accessing more challenging work across the curriculum. All students involved have thoroughly enjoyed working with their reading partner and have been very grateful for the opportunity.”

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