Institute of Education
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Reading Recovery children go on to succeed up to the end of Key Stage 2

The effects of Reading Recovery last straight through to the end of primary school, a national monitoring report has revealed. Reading Recovery is designed to lift the children who struggle most in Year 1 from very low literacy to age-expected levels.

These children are selected for the programme because they would not otherwise be expected to reach level 3 (the level needed to read a red top newspaper) by age 11.

However, the 2011-12 report shows that eleven-year-old children who had received Reading Recovery at age six have overturned that expectation and have matched their classmates' progress for the following six years.

Of the 370-plus children who completed their daily one-to-one lessons with a specially trained teacher and were tracked up to Year 6, 78% -- nearly eight in 10 -- attained national curriculum level 4 (the national standard) or above in their reading assessment and 67% -- nearly seven in 10 -- attained the same in the writing assessment.

All but six achieved a level 3 or higher in their Key Stage 2 reading assessment, and all but one attained the same in the writing assessment.

Julia Douetil, head of the European Centre for Reading Recovery at the Institute of Education, London, which published the report, said: "Schools have made huge improvements in literacy for most children. But the statistic of 7%, or 30,000 children every year, failing to reach national curriculum level 3 at age 11 has been stubbornly resistant to change. We now have proof that, with the resources and the will to make it happen, Reading Recovery can lift that blight from their young shoulders."

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the future of Reading Recovery and with the first dip in the number of children helped since the Government-funded roll out of the programme in England in 2007, the report has shown that in 2011-12 Reading Recovery has continued to change more than 8,900 children's lives by lifting them from non-readers to age-appropriate levels of literacy.

In their Key Stage 1 reading national assessments, 77% attained national curriculum level 2 or above, and 63% achieved the same in writing. This is a substantial improvement on the previous year (74% and 58% respectively), providing evidence of consistent impact on standards.

Among economically disadvantaged children, 81% reached age-related expectations for literacy, compared with 83% of their more advantaged peers. This indicates that, following Reading Recovery, children in poverty had gone from being two and a half times more likely to be among the lowest attaining, to being within two percentage points of their peers. The attainment gap between children in poverty and their more advantaged peers had virtually closed. Data also show an improvement since 2010-11 when 78% and 83% of children respectively achieved age-appropriate literacy levels. At Key Stage 2 national assessments, the gap between children entitled to free school meals and their peers had reduced to four percentage points in reading, and no longer existed in writing.

As a result of early intervention, nearly 1,600 children were removed from the Special Educational Needs register and an additional 130 children could be identified early for formal assessment (known as being "allocated resource hours" in Ireland).
Editor's notes

• Please find the 'Reading Recovery™ annual report for UK and Ireland 2011-12' at

• European Centre for Reading Recovery is based at the Institute of Education (IOE), University of London
• Reading Recovery is a short-term programme for children who have the lowest achievement in literacy learning after one year at school
• Children are taught individually for 30 minutes each day, for an average of between 15-20 weeks, by a specially trained teacher
• Reading Recovery starts from the needs of the child, what the child knows and what he/she needs to learn next, and so is likely to be different for each child
• Phonics has an important role within Reading Recovery
• 2007-2012, Reading Recovery in England was supported through the Every Child a Reader (ECaR) programme
• The Key Stage 2 data in this report represents Local Authorities in England only
• Schools are able to capitalise on the professional development provided to Reading Recovery teachers, to advise, mentor and support others in the school with responsibilities for children's literacy, including class teachers, teaching assistants and parents through lighter touch programmes
• Reading Recovery was developed in the 1970s by New Zealand educator Dr Marie Clay. It is now used world-wide
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 publications that the IOE submitted were judged to be internationally significant and over a third were 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 15 internationally renowned, research-intensive universities.

For more information contact

Clare Fisher, communications administrator
European Centre for Reading Recovery
Institute of Education
University of London
20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL
Tel: 020 7911 5422
Fax: 020 7612 6828

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