Institute of Education
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The Benefits of Reading Recovery Continue into Secondary Education

The positive impact of Reading Recovery for pupils who struggled with literacy at the start of primary school lasts up to and into secondary school, a study from the Institute of Education (IOE), London, has revealed.

The five year study, commissioned by the Every Child a Chance Trust, looking at the long term effects of early intervention, followed 254 children up to the end of Key Stage 2. Those who had received Reading Recovery (77 children) made significantly greater progress in English than the comparison school (127 children) that had no access to the intervention. The benefits of having a Reading Recovery teacher, a highly skilled literacy expert, in the school were also seen on pupils (50 children) who didn't receive the additional one-to-one support. 

Dr Jane Hurry, who led the research, said: "Reading Recovery is well known to have impressive effects in the shorter term but less is known about its long term effectiveness.  This study showed that the children who had received Reading Recovery in Year 1 were still doing significantly better in reading and writing and also maths than those who attended schools where Reading Recovery was not available, providing a surer footing for transition to secondary school".

Reading Recovery is a school based literacy programme for the lowest achieving children aged five or six that enables them to reach age-expected levels within 20 weeks. It involves a short series of one-to-one lessons every day with a specially trained teacher.

Editor's Notes:

For more information contact the IOE press office:
James Russell, assistant press officer, 020 7911 5556 / Hofkins, press officer, 020 7911 5423 /
Reading Recovery is at the heart of Every Child a Reader (ECaR), a whole school improvement strategy for literacy. The Reading Recovery teacher provides an intensive, daily, one-to-one programme for the lowest achieving literacy learners, as well as supporting and monitoring a range of other literacy programmes for all children who need them.

ECaR empowers schools in teaching literacy, matching children to appropriate programmes to meet their needs, and monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of provision.

The children who had received Reading Recovery had made significantly greater progress in English than the comparison children by the end of Year 6, achieving on average a National Curriculum Level of 4b compared with a borderline between Level 3 and 4 for those who had not been part of the programme.

78% of Reading Recovery children achieved Level 4 in English compared with 62% in the comparison group in non Reading Recovery schools and 64% for the children in Reading Recovery schools.


The Institute of Education is a college of the University of London that specialises in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise two-thirds of the Institute's research activity was judged to be internationally significant and over a third was judged to be "world leading". The Institute was recognised by Ofsted in 2010 for its "high quality" initial teacher training programmes that inspire its students "to want to be outstanding teachers". The IOE is a member of the 1994 Group, which brings together 12 internationally renowned, research-intensive universities.

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