A MUM who started volunteering at her children’s primary school and ended up teaching there has urged more people to give up their time to help youngsters to read.

St Ebbe’s teacher Jane Godby, 47, was jobless when she moved to Oxford with her children 19 years ago, and began volunteering with Oxford literacy charity Reading Quest.

Volunteers work one-to-one with Year Two pupils for 18 sessions over seven weeks.

The charity said their reading age improves by seven months as a result.

Oxford has the worst exam results for seven-year-olds and is in the bottom 10 per cent for 11-year-olds.

Mrs Godby said: “I was a single parent and basically wanted to help my children at school.

“I started volunteering as a mum, and 19 years on, I am a teacher there.

“Even when I got a job at Marks & Spencer, I still kept coming into St Ebbe’s to help out and do volunteer reading with Reading Quest.

“When a job came up as a teaching assistant, I took a pay cut because it was where I wanted to go as a career.

“I still carried on doing volunteer reading in my spare time, and I even had to work as the caretaker at the school for a while to help pay the bills.”

After completing a specialist teaching assistant qualification at the Open University, she enrolled at Oxford Brookes University to train to become a teacher.

She graduated four years ago, and has taught at St Ebbe’s ever since.

She said: “Education was not right for me at 16, and I took my degree at 40. It just shows it is never too late.”

The charity is looking to train more volunteers to go into Oxford schools and read with struggling youngsters.

Director Jayne Lacny said: “We know we have a tried and tested method of helping children feel good about their literacy learning and themselves.

“We have trained and worked with volunteers for 15 years and we love to see them progress professionally in their Reading Quest work.

“When our founder Penny Tyack started the project, there was real need in the city for such work, and we are needed now more than ever.”

  • To find out more, email info@reading quest.org.uk or call 01865 403207