WiT was formed in November 2009 in partnership with the Schools Forum, Local Authority, CPH (City Primary Heads), EIP (Education Improvement Partnership), Trade Unions and others. Co chairing the initiative is Strategic Lead of City Primary Heads – Liz Warren and Director of Leicester Secondary Education Improvement Partnership – Bill Morris.
A pledge was made that the ‘Whatever It Takes’ initiative will seek to ensure that every child in Leicester reaches their age related reading standard by the end of primary school.
The project is being led and managed by a multi-agency, cross-phase strategy group with key members from across the partnership services. Both Rachel Dickinson (Director of Children’s Services) and Councillor Vi Dempster (Assistant Mayor, Leicester City Council) have agreed to champion the initiative to help ensure the message is received at all strategic levels.
Co chair Liz Warren says...‘WIT is a wonderful initiative. It brings together colleagues from Children’s and Young People’s Services including Education, the Library Service, Early Prevention with parts of the voluntary sector like the Literature Network, with the Unions and with Leicester City Council. We all want to succeed in improving the life chances of children in Leicester by ensuring that reading is given the highest priority. We have all pledged to do ‘Whatever it Takes’ to get children reading. This is bigger than any one organisation and will have city wide impact.’
WiT is not a quick fix or short-term attempt to boost end of Key Stage test results, and it is proposed that the impact of the project is incorporated into a longitudinal study of between 5 and 10 years duration. The initiative is made up of a diverse set of projects which run alongside one another, these range from grants to support reading based activities within schools, to festivals hosting show stopping performances for the entire community. The eclectic range of the projects works towards not only boosting those test results but helping children find a love of books that will stay with them forever.