Meet Ian Fitzpatrick, our Sales Director at Reading Solutions UK.
What was your first job?
I was a paperboy when I was 13.
What attracted you to the education sector?
When my stepchildren were at primary school age. It gave me a new interest in education and how tech-based solutions could support good quality teaching. Working in the education sector provides an opportunity to have a positive impact on children’s learning.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Driven, passionate, talkative.
Tell us more about your role at Reading Solutions UK?
As the Sales Director, I have a hand in most parts of the business but my primary focus is supporting the Reading Development Consultants. We have a great team of knowledgeable consultants who help schools and academies achieve brilliant results with Reading Plus.
I work closely with Multi-Academy Trusts and Teaching Alliances to implement Reading Plus and ensure sustained progress is made by their pupils.
I also lead on studies such as SSIF to demonstrate the impact Reading Plus has on learning outcomes.
What attracted you to become a reseller of the Reading Plus programme?
The unique nature of the programme. Having worked in the education sector for 10 years, I can confidently say that there is no other reading programme on the market that teaches silent reading efficiency like Reading Plus.
The social conscience of the academics behind Reading Plus also attracted me to become the sole reseller in the UK. They are educationalists first and foremost and understand the needs of their customers and how their programme can greatly benefit pupils around the world, aiding their development both in school and at home.
Why is reading so important?
One of my earliest memories of reading is a wonderful poem called ‘The Flyaway Horse’. It had great illustrations and my mum used to read it to me.
I loved it and asked her to read it most nights. She encouraged me to read along with her. As I have grown older, I’ve come to realise that this laid the foundations for me to become a confident reader.
Unfortunately, many children don’t have books at home and some find it difficult to read, no matter how much support they get.
Reading underpins most aspects of life. From a perfunctory point of view, it allows children to access all areas of the curriculum and from a reading for pleasure perspective, it can help them experience things that they wouldn’t ordinarily in their everyday lives – children love learning about Sea Pigs on Reading Plus!
It’s vitally important that every child should have the opportunity to learn to read and be given every chance to succeed.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I’d love to say something cool like base jumping but I enjoy spending time in my garden – I love growing vegetables and creating a wildlife-friendly environment.
Football, cycling and jogging take up a fair bit of my free time too!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Always keep an open mind, take any opportunities that come your way and give 100% in whatever you do.
What was your favourite childhood book?
What piece of tech can you not live without?
I’m embarrassed to say, my phone.
From phone calls, texts, Whatsapp, social media to internet shopping, it’s scary to think how integral it has become.
Bring back the days of looking for holidays on Teletext!
If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
Time travel. I’d love to go back and see ancient civilisations.