Focus: Corporate Responsibility - Side by side - Mencap and Oxford University Press

Mencap has been running its sponsored Spellathon for primary school pupils for 13 years and has worked with Oxford University Press on the project since 1996. Spellathon consists of sponsored spelling tests that run through the year. Annual proceeds of about £200,000 go to the charity.


Why did you choose this partnership?

Two years after we started running Spellathon we realised we needed professional help if it was to go on.

How do you benefit?

Since the partnership began in 1996, Oxford University Press has provided expertise and support, as well as helping us reach schools all over the country.

How does it help the wider community?

We wanted to use Spellathon to improve literacy in schools. Oxford recommended that we develop teaching guidelines and include them with Spellathon.

It is now a successful, flexible teaching aid that fits into more than one curriculum subject.

What are your plans for the future?

We hope to use our partnership with Oxford to turn Spellathon into a brand that teachers will use intuitively.


Why did you choose this partnership?

It was the link between the dictionaries we promote to schools and Spellathon that made it such a good fit.

How do you benefit?

Through raising awareness of Oxford University Press. We also publish reading material and literacy resources, so there's a much wider fit there too.

How does it help the wider community?

Raising pupils' achievement levels is an important goal for us. Our target for primary schools is for pupils to reach level four in reading and writing by the end of year six.

What are your plans for the future?

We're expanding the competition to secondary schools and it's also available on our website. We're looking at whether we can develop a Spellathon dictionary with Mencap.

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