The KPMG Foundation was established with the objective of unlocking the potential of children in the UK who’ve not been able to achieve their educational promise. And since 2001 it has provided over £13 million of funding to charitable projects nationwide.
The Foundation helps fund and support projects across the country that focus on early intervention. There is a wealth of effective local, national and international practice showing that early intervention, applied well, is cost-effective and has the best chance of success in improving life chances.
One of the Foundation’s most successful programmes to support the educational attainment of disadvantaged children has been its Every Child a Reader initiative which focused on improving the literacy skills of the poorest performing six and seven year olds. Through the programme, skilled, specialist one-to-one teaching is provided for the lowest achieving children who receive a 30-minute lesson, every day for up to 20 weeks. A three-year pilot involving over 7,000 children showed remarkable results and in 2008, the Government funded a three-year national roll-out.
“I love my Reading Recovery lessons because I read some great books that I enjoy. Now I’m a good reader and help the other children in my class.”
“When I started I found reading difficult. Now I can read lots of books. I feel good inside me and I feel proud of myself.”
“I can read now. I’m the only one in my family who can read.”
The KPMG Foundation commissioned UCL Institute of Education to track the progress of a sample of children involved in the programme publishing a comprehensive study, ‘The impact of Reading Recovery ten years after the intervention’.
This landmark longitudinal study was the first of its kind in the UK to follow the progress of children over a ten year period and gain a detailed understanding of the impact of the intervention. The research found that the children’s academic achievements at years 9 and 11 were significantly improved as a result of the Reading Recovery intervention. Findings include:
The programmes funded by the Foundation - whilst all focusing on early intervention - are diverse and varied.
Its work with Barnardo’s on their Reach Out initiative has focused on building an independent, multi-disciplinary intervention service in Rotherham to reduce the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation.
The Foundation also recognises that for children in statutory care, consistency of relationships can be an important contributor to creating stability. That’s why the Foundation has committed to supporting Family Rights Group to pilot a programme, Lifelong Links, which aims to find 6-8 adults who will commit to a lifelong relationship with a child in care.