Families to get wider access to literacy support software

Families will soon be able to download literacy support software to their own devices for free thanks to a world-first partnership between Midlothian Council and digital software supplier, Texthelp.
​Councillor Ellen Scott welcomed wider access to the software.​Councillor Ellen Scott welcomed wider access to the software.
​Councillor Ellen Scott welcomed wider access to the software.

Read&Write helps with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work. These tools are essential for some learners and useful for all.

At a special launch of the Free for Families initiative in Newbattle Community High School, the council unveiled a video featuring young people and teachers talking about what Read&Write means to them.

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Councillor Ellen Scott, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “This initiative will give all families the opportunity to benefit from this life-changing free software, as well as supporting children who may need extra help, if for example they are dyslexic.

“The software allows our pupils to put into words their inner talents by helping to extend their vocabulary, write more complex sentences and longer stories, and assists our teachers to challenge and support each student effectively.”

Supporting children, young people and staff to make best use of Read&Write in Midlothian has resulted in: 90.7% of all teachers and pupils regularly using Read&Write; 529% increase in Read&Write use in the last 12 months; a 90% reduction in the number of referrals for assistive technology.

Positive acknowledgment in two recent school inspection reports of the impact 1:1 devices and Read&Write has had in providing effective learning, teaching and assessment

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Martin McKay, Texthelp's Founder and CEO, said: “For the last 25 years we have been creating software that supports millions of people around the world to understand and be understood. Hearing the inspiring stories of how teachers and students in Midlothian are using our literacy tool, Read&Write shows us that we’re making a real difference.”

Schools will be contacting families directly by the end of November about how to access the free software.

The initiative is part of the council’s award-nominated £10.5 million Equipped for Learning Project which provides every Midlothian pupil with a free digital device.

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