SCHOOLS in Oxfordshire are being given a final chance to sign up to the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign.

A headteachers’ conference has been organised for Monday by the National Literacy Trust, which is running the Oxford Mail-backed campaign, after the scheme was thrown open to all county primary schools.

Initially 81 schools were invited to take part in the programme – a combination of reading interventions and a volunteering scheme aimed at improving reading results and fostering a love of books.

But after 43 schools signed up it was opened to all primary schools. At the Unipart Conference Centre, in Garsington Road, Cowley, headteachers will find out more about what the scheme involves – and hear from those taking part.

Acting programme manager Wendy Tyrrell said: “We would really like everyone who comes to the conference to go away having decided to sign up for the campaign – that is our ambition.”

So far, 26 schools have confirmed they will be attending.

The National Literacy Trust has capacity within the current £585,000 budget to take on an additional 60 schools to the programme.

A headteachers’ conference was held in September to launch the campaign, but this time teachers running the scheme in school will talk about their experiences.

Ms Tyrrell said: “Last time there was no opportunity to talk to teachers who were doing it. We have four or five schools coming along to talk about how it is working.

“They are obviously so enthusiastic they want to come and persuade other schools to do it too and we are hoping to capitalise on that.”

Rachel Crouch, headteacher at St Nicholas Primary School, Marston, and teaching assistant Lynn Banerji will give a presentation about their experiences, while representatives from Windmill Primary School, Headington, Stephen Freeman Primary School in Didcot and West Kidlington Primary School will also be on hand.

Eugene Symonds, headteacher of West Kidlington Primary School, said he was “encouraged” by how well the scheme was going.

He said: “We have been really pleased with the high levels of enthusiasm and support from the people organising it.”

Schools have until March 15 to decide to take part.