A multi-million-pound programme to improve children's reading should not have been rolled out nationally without a rigorous trial, a Commons committee report has found. The science and technology committee said the decision to roll out Every Child a Reader was made without considering whether other interventions would have been more cost effective. It concluded that a randomised controlled trial of Reading Recovery, the programme at the heart of Every Child A Reader, was feasible and necessary. The committee, chaired by Phil Willis MP, found that there was evidence to justify money spent on programmes to improve children's literacy at an early age. But it added that when it came to assessing the evidence for which programmes should be used, there were "worryingly low expectations".
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