Clair Freeman

Meet Clair, our Reading Development Consultant, who predominantly works with schools in the North West. Clair has a passion for education having worked in the sector for over 20 years.

Reading Development Consultant

At Reading Solutions UK she predominantly works with schools that have identified a need to develop pupils’ comprehension, fluency and vocabulary as well as the need to engage pupils who are reluctant and disengaged readers.

We catch up with Clair to find out more about her…

What attracted you to the education sector?

I loved sport, especially swimming which I competed at a decent level (Clair is being modest here, she competed for the European Championships!). I was surrounded by some inspirational coaches who had coached Olympians which undoubtedly made a lasting impression on me. After seeing the amazing transformation that can happen when in receipt of good teaching and coaching, I was hooked! I began taking coaching qualifications which then led me into looking at teaching as a career.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Driven, passionate, loyal.

Tell us more about your role at Reading Solutions UK?

I deliver 1-1 and group training to staff at all levels in the school so that they can confidently get pupils up and running on the Reading Plus programme. I also help teachers and leaders unpick what the data is telling them about their pupils as readers, and support the school in developing the best strategy to implement the Reading Plus materials to address their needs.

To best advise schools, the job entails a good understanding of the pedagogy of reading and the ability to address and respond to new educational developments such as a new curriculum or changing Ofsted Framework.

Why is reading so important?

Reading is one of the major building blocks of life and learning, without being proficient at reading, opportunities are significantly reduced and aspirations are low.

My Gran had a saying she often used when she heard people say that they can’t cook, ‘if you can read, you can cook!’.

So true, it’s just a simple series of step-by-step instructions. When we look at other functions in life, how many people are limited by what they cannot do in seemly basic everyday functions because of their reading ability. When we relate that to what pupils’ experience at school each day if a pupil has not developed those fundamental skills at Key Stage One, their grasp on learning throughout the rest of their school career is severely limited.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be so serious. Travel more. Nothing is ever the end of the world!

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?

My passion for sport and exercise continues, several years ago I set up a netball club where I coach children from as young as age 6 up to 80-year-old ladies who participate in our walking netball sessions. I am kept incredibly busy fundraising, training coaches organising events and taking girls to matches. I also don a netball dress each week for the club’s adult team.

What was your favourite childhood book?

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S.Lewis, I fell in love with Aslan.