Whatever it Takes (WiT) is the Leicester city-wide reading initiative to get every child in Leicester reading. The initiative is a collaborative approach to tackling low literacy levels across the city and is dedicated to ensuring that as a city we are reading for pleasure. 

Why was WiT created?

WiT began in 2009 because research and data showed...

  • Around 25% of children in Leicester did not attain their age-related standard for reading at the end of primary school.
  • Each year around 350  children transferred to Year 7 below NC level 3, costing secondary schools an extra £1min additional support.
  • The average cost to the public purse for each individual without functional literacy (up to age 37) is estimated to be between £44,000 to £53,000 per year

What happened next?

WiT was formed as a partnership between Schools Forum, Leicester Primary Partnership (previously City Primary Heads), Secondary Education Improvement Partnership, Leicester City Council, NUT and the SDSA. Together they established a 10 year strategy dedicated to creating city-wide momentum around the teaching and enjoyment of reading. 

90% of the funding is distributed out to schools in the form of grants and projects addressing our 5 Key Touchstones:

  • Increase reading miles and language
  • Improve match set of books to children
  • Improve the expertise of adults
  • Improve specific intervention
  • Improve the reading culture

The remaining 10% of the funding is retained for centrally coordinated city-wide activities which are designed to:

  • Support the training and development of adults in schools who lead, teach and support reading activities.
  • Help schools provide effective, targeted work on some of their more vulnerable learners.
  • Provide inspiration and contribute to a positive reading culture.
  • Engage the wider community in reading activity, either supporting schools in community reading projects or co-ordinating city-wide activities, e.g. through children’s centres, resources for parents, Everybody’s Reading festival
  • Provide better value through the economies of scale when schools work together.

The iniative is co-chaired by Liz Warren, Strategic Lead for Leicester Primary Partnership and Bill Morris, previously Director of Education Improvement Partnership. 

For more information about specific projects and events please take the time to browse our website.

Whatever it Takes Full Project Evaluations