St Anne’s Catholic Primary School have introduced their new parent council with their first act replacing the reading books in the school which have left previous pupils below the national literacy average.

The council was formed due to the announcement of the school becoming an academy back in 2019 following an Ofsted report which rated the school as ‘inadequate’ six months prior.

The school raised the £3,500 during their sponsor day organised in December which helped fund the new reading books for the children across all year groups.

Chairperson of the parent council, Lorna Clarke, told the Gazette: “[The parent council] has helped build a better communication between the parents and the teachers in which the teachers are feeding back to the parents about the issues we raised and things have actively improved since the council founded.

“It’s nice being involved in change rather than hoping for it.”

Basingstoke Gazette: The reading dog helps children become excited about reading again.The reading dog helps children become excited about reading again.

The Head of School, Mrs Martine Sadie, added: “The engagement with the parents has drastically improved the children’s learning, especially with members from the parent council coming into the school and supporting other kids who don’t get that support at home.

She continued: “We hope this will bring our standards back up to national level and return to our previous ‘outstanding’ rating.”

Basingstoke’s MP, Maria Miller, attended the event to follow the schools progress after their backlash from the academisation last year. 

She said: “Every child needs to be a confident reader and all science proves that phonics will help teach them to read through the fundamentals of the English language.” 

As part of the new reading programme, the school have hired the help of Stella, the four-year-old miniature schnauzer, as their in house reading dog to help the children learn to love reading.