We are proud to announce that McLaughlin & Harvey will be supporting the launch of TutorMate, the online reading programme, in Scotland this year.
Innovations for Learning UK (IfL), a registered charity, is planning to expand the TutorMate programme into primary schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow from August this year. We will join Ashurst, CMS and Royal London, who together will support 80 struggling young readers.
Due to the pandemic, the need for additional reading support for disadvantaged children is greater than ever. Data from 2020/21 revealed that literacy rates in Scottish primary schools had fallen to 66.9 per cent from 72.3 per cent in 2018/19 (ACEL). Meanwhile, the attainment gap between youngsters in the most deprived areas grew as the poorest were hit hardest.
TutorMate connects employee volunteers with 5-7-year-olds in disadvantaged communities and is currently supported in England by over 70 corporate partners who provide both volunteers and funding. Their employees read online weekly with 1,500 children in London, Leeds, Bradford, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, Peterborough and East Sussex. The charity aims to support 4,000 children across the UK by 2024.
TutorMate is simple, flexible and intuitive for employees to use. From their workplace or home (anywhere in the UK), the volunteers log on to the web-based platform and use a voice connection to link with their paired pupil for 30 minutes each week. They read stories and play games that build fluency, comprehension, phonics and, most importantly, foster reading confidence and enjoyment. Full training, background checks and support are provided.
Emma Bell, IfL Executive Director, is keen to involve companies with a Scottish connection, “We are delighted that McLaughlin & Harvey has agreed to support our work in Scotland. TutorMate provides an opportunity for businesses to improve the employability and life chances of young people in the region.”
TutorMate has a proven, measurable impact on the reading levels of participating children, allowing companies to demonstrate social value through their support.
Group Social Value Manager at McLaughlin & Harvey, Shauna Young said, “Advancing the learning and development of young people is a core goal of what we do at McLaughlin & Harvey. We’re proud to help local communities, inspire apprentices and encourage graduates across the UK and Ireland. Our partnership with TutorMate further strengthens this commitment and gives our employees the chance to make a difference and improve literacy skills in Scotland.”