A Vision for Reading in Peterborough


A new approach has launched in Peterborough with an aim to ensure that every child in the city can read well and enjoys it. This vision commits the city to improving reading in a new and exciting way, not only strengthening the resources of the city’s schools and teachers but establishing reading as a priority for every service, business and community agency committed to Peterborough’s future.

The vision 

This vision builds upon the great work already being done in Peterborough by the council, the National Literacy Trust and other partners. It sets out a strategic pathway and three key priorities to guide how we can all work together so that we ensure that every child has improved life opportunities through reading. We have all pledged to play our part in helping children to have a lifelong love of reading and build a reading city. We invite you to join us.

Reading is important for the children of Peterborough for various reasons:

  • Currently achievement in reading is significantly lower than national averages and lower than that in other local authorities.
  • The number of children joining and leaving Peterborough schools at non-standard times is the second highest in the country and this has a disruptive impact on the outcomes of too many pupils. From October 2016 to January 2017, 630 children joined and 432 children left Peterborough schools at non-standard times.
  • Peterborough has a diverse community with 138 languages spoken and further cohesion needs to be developed.
  • 10 libraries in Peterborough are used by only 20% of the population and this needs to be increased to further develop reading for pleasure.
  • Improved reading is linked to better public health and greater opportunities within education and employment.

Aims and initiatives

Local literacy initiatives are the best means of understanding and targeting local community needs. The National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough has already established partnership working with a range of agencies across Peterborough. We intend to further develop local shared initiatives and partnership working, to improve enjoyment, engagement and achievement in reading. 



  • Bringing together the whole Peterborough community to excite children about the possibilities of reading
  • Providing inspiring and enjoyable activities linked to reading


  • Increasing library membership & active library usage
  • Increasing opportunities to read in a variety of places
  • Further motivation parents/carers in participating in the development of their children's reading skills


  • Raising attainment and progress in reading from starting points (EYFS, KS2 & GCSE)
  • Closing the gap to national averages for reading

Current initiatives


  • Boys into Books; National Literacy Trust's Books Unlocked; Rhyme Time; Storytime; Summer Reading Challenge; holiday and half-term activities in libraries


  • Book Bus; Bookstart; City Read; Community Meet and Eat events; Community Serve pop-up shops; Heritage Festival; Peterborough City of Reading 2019; Reading Cafes; Reading Champions; summer holiday pop-up literacy shops; community story-telling events


  • Early Words Together, Edge Hill University Intervention programmes: Readers Count and Project X CODE; Every Child a Talker (ECAT); Improving Literacy programmes for targeted schools; Power of Reading; Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (REAL); Reading Buddies, Reading for Inference

Outcomes & milestones

By the end of August 2021, the rate of improvement in Peterborough will be double the national rate of improvement and will support the achievement of the following outcomes:

  • Attainment is raised to at least 75% (or is in-line with National Averages) for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), expected and above in Communication and Litercay and Reading, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 expected Standard and above for reading, GCSE English Grade 4 and above 
  • Progress from end of KS1 to end of KS2 is above the National Average 
  • School Readiness survey shows improvement to above 70% in Listening, Sharing and Effective Communication Measures 
  • Library membership and active library usage increases by an additional 2,500 children each year 
  • Opportunities to read in a variety of places is increased to a further 100 new places 
  • Surveys on reading show improved levels of enjoyment (greater than 60%)
  • At least 100 Reading Buddies are trained and volunteering in Peterborough Schools
  • At least 90% of schools and 40 partner organisations are signed up to the Reading Pledge 
  • The Peterborough Year of Reading is celebrated across the city and has a high profile in the media

Monitoring & evaluation

The Reading Strategy will be monitored by the Lead Officers for PCC School Standards and Effectiveness, the National Literacy Trust Hub and Vivacity and impact reports will be provided for the PCC Scrutiny Committee on a termly basis. The Reading Strategy will be evaluated by the PCC Children and Education Scrutiny Committee.

Peterborough Reading Pledge

As part of the Vision for Reading in Peterborough, we invite you to undertake three actions (one from each section) to put reading at the heart of your organisation’s strategy:

Your organisation

  • Use the Vision for Reading in Peterborough to promote reading to all staff in your organisation 
  • Create a page on your organisation's intranet dedicated to encouraging reading activities, for example a staff book club or recommended reads 
  • Ensure engaging reading materials are available in public waiting areas within your organisation 
  • Include the Vision for Reading in Peterborough logo (to be developed) on official documents to show that your organisation is working in partnership to promote reading

Your staff

  • Actively encourage all staff/employees to join their local library 
  • Identify an Ambassador of Reading to take special responsibility for promoting reading within your organisation 
  • Create a yearly reading award or prize within your organisation 

Reading in the community

  • Send information to all parents and carers within your organisation at least three times a year, asking them to read regularly with and to their children and highlighting free resources available to support this, for example the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website
  • Promote The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge to all employees who have children aged 3 to 12
  • Identify at least one person in your organisation who would be interested in training to volunteer as a Reading Buddy within a local school