Award-winning Sound Training launches after-school course

Claire Preston Sound Training

Teesside award-winning firm Sound Training is launching an after-school course for children aged 9-18 after its CEO expressed her frustration with the irony that most of its success has been achieved in other parts of the UK despite being named the North East’s Small Business of the Year.

Claire Preston, CEO of Middlesbrough-based Sound Training, has expressed her frustration that more Teesside students are not being given an opportunity to access her company’s teaching programme despite receiving the fact it is being hailed in schools across three US states.

Claire believes novel ways to boost the learning achievements of students must be grasped after Lord Heseltine insisted in his recent report that “Schools in Teesside must improve to support the growth of the region”.

She is confident that Sound Training’s “intensive learning boost” can have a positive impact in helping to improve attainment levels of the region’s primary and secondary school students.

However, just a small percentage of the 500 UK schools Sound Training has worked with are on Teesside.

Whilst Claire is calling for more local schools to open their minds to the benefits of Sound Training, the company is also inviting parents to express their interest in the launch of a new after-school course designed to accelerate learning across the curriculum.

She said: “In his recent report, Lord Heseltine expressed his belief that problems with education and skills are the thorn in the side of Teesside. I do agree that more can and must be done to tackle underachievement, with nearly half of the region’s 16-year-olds failing to achieve at least five GCSEs at grades A-C.

“At Sound Training, we work closely with some great Teesside schools and teachers to raise attainment levels. They include outstanding Middlesbrough schools, such as Pennyman Primary, and Acklam Grange, who have been commended by the Schools, Students and Teachers network and listed among the UK’s top 20% of schools.

“We’re passionate about working with local schools, as well as others across the UK and overseas, and I have witnessed real dedication in Teesside schools, but it’s an inescapable fact that more needs to be done if we are to seriously raise levels across the board.

“So it does frustrate me that more of our local schools are not giving their students an opportunity to benefit from Sound Training at a time when we’re enjoying great success in working with schools across the UK and now whipping up a storm in the USA too.”

Sound Training, which was the brainchild of ex-teacher Katy Parkinson – the company’s founder-director – when she worked with Middlesbrough Council, has already boosted learning for more than 22,000 students in hundreds of schools across the UK since its launch in 2011.

In schools in the US states of Florida, Maine and California it has also been hailed as the catalyst to “unheard of” improvements in results across subjects as well as increased confidence and engagement.

Now Teesside parents are being given opportunity to be the first to book their children onto Sound Training’s new after-school teaching programme.

Never previously available outside the school system, there’s now an opportunity for students, aged 9-18, to take part in a six-week after-school programme.

Claire added: “Sound Training can make a real impact in helping to accelerate learning across the curriculum. In only six one-hour Sound Training lessons, research has confirmed that reading ages increase by more than two years and that students improve their spelling, vocabulary, independence as learners and results across the curriculum.

“Parents who want to get their child to the next level have an opportunity to discover how Sound Training can rapidly raise achievement should get in touch. We can help children to reach their potential”

• Parents can learn about the teaching programme and have their child’s reading age assessed free of charge when Sound Training hold a launch evening for their new after-school teaching programme. To book a place at the presentation evening, email or visit to see case studies.


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