Philip is new ‘reading champion’ for Bury Schools Partnership

The Bury Schools Partnership has appointed Philip Daws as its new reading champion. Pictured with Y9 students Alice Collins and Kieren Bedford, with primary pupils Max Palmer, Elodie Barnard, Joshua Franklin and George Talbot.
The Bury Schools Partnership has appointed Philip Daws as its new reading champion. Pictured with Y9 students Alice Collins and Kieren Bedford, with primary pupils Max Palmer, Elodie Barnard, Joshua Franklin and George Talbot.

A man well versed in children’s literature has started a new chapter in his career after becoming a ‘reading champion’ for the Bury Schools Partnership.

Philip Daws, who used to run the children’s section at Waterstones, in the Buttermarket, has been recruited by King Edward VI School head Geoff Barton to help improve pupils’ reading skills.

The move is part of the partnership’s transition to two tier schooling in 2016.

Mr Daws said: “Geoff wants me to go into all the 20 schools in the partnership and talk to the children, teachers and parents about reading habits – what they’re reading, is there lots of enthusiasm for reading and, if there isn’t, if any of them are having difficulties.”

He will then draw up a series of reports for Mr Barton and look at ways to develop the partnerhip’s culture of reading. Mr Daws, who used to recommend books for children to read when he worked at Waterstones, added: “I’m really excited about it. If I can help one child who doesn’t like reading it’s going to be a real victory. I think the scope is out there to really make an impact.”

Mr Barton added: “When we began looking for a Reading Champion to promote reading for children aged four to 18 across the Bury Schools Partnership, we knew there was just one choice.

“Philip Daws has been a legendary bookseller at Waterstone’s here in Bury St Edmunds for many years.

“He has influenced the reading habits of a generation and guided parents about which books to buy for birthdays, holidays and Christmas. No-one knows more about books for young people than he does. We can’t wait to start harnessing his expertise and enthusiasm.”

To get in touch with Mr Daws, email philip.daws@btinternet.com