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.

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.

At The City of Leicester College, we design projects that are engaging and fun to help our students maximise their reading potential. Recent projects include trips to Library Services for Education, a visit to college by the author, Alan Gibbons, Get Caught Reading incentive to be ‘caught’ reading for pleasure at school.

We have also spent money on a wide variety of reading materials such as the child friendly newspaper ‘First News’, Manga books (graphic novels) and dyslexia friendly reading books to extend the reading opportunities for our students.

Many of the Teaching Assistant team have now achieved their Level 3 Diploma in Dyslexia through a WIT funded scheme so are trained to support our Dyslexic students with their learning.