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Hopes of recovery for rich as well as poor readers

Diane Hofkins' account of the research commissioned by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority into the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery programme (TES, March 10) could be misunderstood in one respect.

Ms Hofkins is right in reporting that Reading Recovery was the only intervention which enabled children to overcome the disadvantage at which poverty has been shown to place them.

This should not be taken to imply that Reading Recovery is only appropriate for children from poor backgrounds.

Any child who falls behind his or her peers in literacy learning is disadvantaged within that class, and is likely to suffer the consequences, be they educational, emotional or social.

By intensive, focused teaching, Reading Recovery aims to undercut the incidence of literacy difficulties for our lowest achieving children, whatever the source of their confusions.

As your editorial suggested, Reading Recovery will continue in the British Isles, due to the determination, dedication and hard work of those who have begun to see what it can achieve. The challenge to Reading Recovery in Britain was to show what is possible for our lowest achieving readers and writers. We are beginning to see what is possible; the far greater challenge for the future will be how to make Reading Recovery available to all children who need it JEAN PRANCE, JULIA DOUETIL and ANGELA HOBSBAUM

National co-ordinators Reading Recovery.

Surrey education services

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