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Reading Recovery

Reading recovery is a literacy programme designed for the lowest achieving children aged around six that enables them to reach age-expected levels within 20 weeks.

Further information

A well-trained literacy specialist can contribute to your strategy for addressing the effects of learning disruption on children in your school. The Leicester City reading recovery training package offers: 20 half day training sessions. New training is likely to commence commence after October half term (2022) to allow schools to make necessary staffing arrangements.

Why Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery (RR) has significant evidence of high impact - over 200 research studies document benefits for students and schools. A recent meta-analysis  found an effect size of 0.59 which the EEF cites as ‘high impact’(2) . A study of GCSE attainment of children 10 years after receiving RR(3) demonstrated RR gains were sustained. RR impacts phonics(4). RR is highly rated by numerous independent organisations e.g. What Works Clearinghouse(5), the Early Intervention Foundation(6), the Institute for Effective Education and the Education Endowment Foundation(7). Pro Bono estimated potential economic benefits of RR demonstrating value for money(8).

In the last complete school year, 5142 children received individual teaching in RR and around 40% of those children were disadvantaged based on FSM indicators. In 2019, 99% of children entering RR had standardised reading ages of less than 4 years 10 months, indicating that they were the lowest attaining in their cohort and over 80% were accelerated to average levels after their RR programmes.

Deficits in oral language development and literacy development coincide with social disadvantage. A trained RR specialist teacher in your school carries out initial assessment in reading, writing and language, then shapes a series of lessons based on each individual child’s starting point. The RR specialist can also guide small group learning; advise and support class teachers; contribute to strategic mapping of literacy needs and provision; and develop partnership working with parents to support home learning.

Reading Recovery Europe (RRE) has a well-established track record in design and quality assurance of training literacy specialists.  Regional Teacher Leaders provide this training.

No other intervention has been proven to make such a long-lasting difference to the literacy skills and life chances of its recipients

The Leicester City Reading Recovery Training Package offer

  • 20 half day training sessions for your chosen teacher, with lesson observation; in-depth assessment; detailed analysis of teaching and learning and practical advice and training
  • 4 half day visits from a UCL/IOE Reading Recovery Teacher Leader
  • data tracking and reporting
  • Reading Recovery manuals for assessment and teaching
  • equivalent of 1-day assessment training for your intervention manager

Cost: £2,100 (reduced by £1000)

A trainee Reading Recovery teacher will need to:

  • Be a qualified teacher with recent KS1 experience
  • Be able to teach 4 pupils on a 1:1 basis every day (minimum 0.5FTE for Reading Recovery)
  • Have access to Book Banded books for use within the intervention
  • Be able to be released for the training outlined above

The course start date is to be confirmed but is likely to be after October half term to allow schools to make necessary staffing arrangements.

Find out more about Reading Recovery

Find out how to train or retrain a Reading Recovery teacher as your school’s literacy specialist. You will be able to develop a bespoke school response to accelerate individual and group learning in literacy.

Contact your local Reading Recovery Teacher Leader

Contact Reading Recovery Europe

Reading Recovery Europe UCL Institute of Education University College London 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL United Kingdom.


[1] D’Agostino & Harmey (2016) included RCTs and high-quality quasi-experimental studies.

[2] The EEF places 0.59 in the range of ‘high impact’

[3] Hurry & Fridkin (2019) watch webinar on the 'The long term effect of Reading Recovery'

[4] Children who received RR scored higher than 60% of control/comparison groups on measures of phonological encoding, phonological awareness, word reading, decoding, and letter identification (Harmey & Bodman, 2020).




[8] Assessing the impact of the Reading Recovery programme



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