Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Saturday, September 26, 1998 Published at 23:58 GMT 00:58 UK


Underwriting the future of education

Lloyd's workers are helping in Tower Hamlets schools

Although they might only be a few minutes' walk away from each other, the glass towers of the City of London and the backstreets of Tower Hamlets are worlds apart.

But in an initiative supporting the National Year of Reading the two worlds are meeting, as underwriters and brokers from Lloyd's of London help with reading in schools in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived boroughs in Britain.

More than 300 staff from the global insurance market at Lloyd's are visiting one of 12 local schools involved at least once a fortnight, providing support for reading and writing.

Tower Hamlets has a high level of pupils from homes where English is not the first language, so one aim of the scheme is to give pupils extra adult support for reading and writing that parents are unable to provide.

[ image: The Year of Reading is combining the efforts of schools, families, councils and businesses]
The Year of Reading is combining the efforts of schools, families, councils and businesses
In a Year of Reading project that also involves the National Theatre, the Tower Hamlets schools and Lloyd's workers have made pre-production visits to see how a play is staged, with follow-up work examining the creative processes in storytelling and drama.

The shift from the multi-million financial sector to the under-funded world of inner-city education is "something of an eye-opener" for the Lloyd's volunteers, says Sharon Merriman, community affairs manager at Lloyd's.

The Year of Reading will see other links between business and education.

Sainsbury's is also working with schools in the east end of London, running 'Reading in the Home' with the London Borough of Newham. This is seeking to raise levels of literacy among 5 to 8 year olds.

In Essex, the Ford Motor Company is providing a Year of Reading scheme, 'Learning Together', which offers lessons in basic literacy for employees and their children, aged between 7 and 11.

Staff at Boots in Nottingham are being given training in tutoring, so that they can help with reading and writing in the city's innter-city schools.

The company will also be providing the parents of nine-month-old babies in Nottinghamshire with books for babies and advice on using libraries and helping young children to read.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables
Relevant Stories

21 Sep 98 | Features
Book your place

16 Sep 98 | Education
Stars back reading drive

17 Sep 98 | Features
How well should our children be doing?

Internet Links

Lloyd's of London

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

National Year of Reading

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'