I always find visiting schools and talking to staff and students such a valuable opportunity to learn how we can be doing more to help our customers develop a vibrant, whole school reading culture.
Simon joined Reading Cloud as our new Managing Director in November 2022; he has successfully led businesses across a range of sectors and is delighted to now be able to focus on EdTech. “Reading Cloud is an exceptional school library management solution with student literacy engagement at its heart – it’s a real privilege to be part of a business that is helping schools make a real difference to the key foundations which support attainment as well as nurturing the much broader life-long benefits of reading for pleasure.”
This year you have visited many school libraries, what always impresses you about them?
Yes, I have and it’s always a great pleasure and learning experience. During my most recent visits, with Allerton Grange School in Leeds (one of our secondary customers) and Rougemont School in Newport (one of our independent school customers) I was most impressed by the bright enthusiasm of the students – I was humbled by the highly perceptive observations and insightful suggestions they made for pushing the boundaries of our product.
I always find visiting schools and talking to staff and students such a valuable opportunity to learn how we can be doing more to help our customers develop a vibrant, whole school reading culture - I’d really welcome any suggestions for visits whether from existing customers or other schools interested in talking about their challenges and aspirations for moving the literacy needle (please do email me at email@example.com).
What do you feel are the main strengths of our library software and what plans do you have for our products?
Well, of course our library software is an exceptional way to efficiently manage a school library – with its comprehensive range of features, it ticks a lot of boxes especially with our brand new interface (which I think our customers will find more intuitive). But Reading Cloud is much more than just a library management system; it’s ability to engage and involve students in reading is where its real strength lies.
Our focus, under of our new ParentPay ownership, is to invest in continuing to build on our market lead in literacy engagement (both for students and staff) and at the same time making our comprehensive features more and more intuitive, quick and easy to use.
What do you enjoy reading when you get time?
I do read quite a lot and it’s usually, but not always, novels. I’ve just finished Jamaica Inn, am half way through The Time Traveller’s Wife and have Hands of Time: A Watchmaker’s History of Time lined up.
Was there a particular book you read as a child that you just couldn’t put down?
Yes, there is one which jumps to mind. At the age of 10, I was very interested in wildlife and an elderly neighbour, noticing my enthusiasm, kindly gave me his copy of The Wildlife of India (E.P Gee) – it’s one of the early conservation books and combines this with a joyous measure of adventure which made it very readable; I still have it!
How important do you think it is to instil and nurture a love of reading at a young age?
It’s incredibly important for so many reasons for the sheer pleasure, mind widening and wellbeing benefits in addition to making a huge difference to attainment with all the advantages that go with that. My own two children, now in their 20’s, both love reading and books have been a big part of building their characters. I feel early memories of reading books with them like the Roman Mysteries Omnibus starting to surface!