This Leeds business has helped school pupils learn to read for two decades

A 20-years partnership between a Leeds primary school and an investment management and stockbroking firm is being celebrated.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 10:27 am
Redmayne Bentley book partnership with Castleton Primary School, LtR Ava Granger (10) & Keith Loudon, foreground.

Since 1999, members of staff from the Leeds office of Redmayne Bentley have visited children at Castleton Primary School in Armley to listen to them read as part of the Right to Read programme.

It all began when a former manager at the firm, who was also a governor at the school, helped set up the scheme. Headteacher Alistair Darnell explained: “For a variety of reasons, children may not have the opportunity to read outside of lessons.

“Over the years we have had people from Redmayne Bentley visit us and encourage children from different year groups to sit and read with them.

“It’s a hugely rewarding experience for them and develops their confidence as well as literacy skills.”

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Redmayne Bentley chairman Keith Loudon OBE, who has been involved from the outset, said: “If you cannot read you will miss so much in this day and age. Most people learn to read at school and the expectation is that they will become more fluent with practice.

“Sadly, some families, for a number of reasons, don’t have family reading. This can put their children at a disadvantage on the road to knowledge.

“It is most important to be aware this programme is not taking the place of normal school learning; it’s an addition.”

As part of the firm’s long-established student placement scheme, in which the firm works with the likes of Leeds University and Leeds Beckett University, students are required to take part in this exercise, and tend to enjoy it.

Currently, compliance officer Rikki Atkinson coordinates the programme.