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Birmingham - Literacy boost for teens

Staff at a secondary school in Birmingham have been volunteering ten minutes of their time each day to help 15 and 16-year-olds who are struggling with reading.

The project at St John Wall Catholic School is the brainchild of English teacher Mary Westwood, who has roped in student teachers, dinner ladies, teachers and even the head, Andy Hyatt.

Ms Westwood said: "We are helping about 20 kids. The students range from new arrivals to those with statements for special needs.

"Many of these students are six-footers, so it is important they don't find it embarrassing or babyish, so it is done in a quiet area of the school, well away from the classroom situation.

"They pretend they can read because it is a macho thing. It is a terrible thing to admit you can't read very well." HW.

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