Written evidence submitted by Steve Waters






My name is Steve Waters and I am the joint CEO of Teach Well Toolkit ( We support schools to build a culture of whole school mental wellbeing for staff and pupils.


I have 30 years’ experience as an English teacher and 6 years’ experience as a local authority consultant.


Evidence relating to attendance


While a consultant, I devised a programme called Fit for Readingfor secondary schools. The aims of the programme were to help pupils who were falling behind with their reading, to encourage their attendance and to ensure that they were given a breakfast to start their day.


Many of the pupils were disadvantaged. Some had attendance and behaviour issues. Most were lacking in confidence; they struggled to learn in class because of their reading problems.


The scheme worked like this:




I believe that the scheme demonstrated the power of harnessing the leadership skills of older pupils to enable younger pupils to make progress and to encourage them to attend.


A secondary benefit was to both year 7 and year 10 pupils’ mental wellbeing. They had stronger self-belief and their confidence improved.


Some year 7 pupils were able to move out of the Fit 4 Reading scheme because they no longer needed intensive support, making way for others who also required help.




January 2023