Reading program fails to boost progress, study shows

An EEF evaluation found pupils using Accelerated Reader did not make additional progress compared with pupils in schools not using the programme

Claudia Civinini

No additional progress with Accelerated Reader

Accelerated Reader, a programme developed by Renaissance Learning, has been found to deliver no additional progress at key stage 2, an evaluation by the Education Endowment Foundation has found.

AR is a digital reading management and monitoring programme that aims to encourage independent reading.

Looking at the KS2 Sats reading scores of pupils who had started with the programme in Year 5, EEF found that they made no additional progress in reading, on average, compared with pupils in schools not using the approach.


'We're not idiots': Teachers react to reading framework

Nick Gibb: 'Teaching early reading well avoids demotivation'

The DfE's reading framework: All teachers need to know


There is also some indication that the same applies to children eligible for free school meals, although these results have "high statistical uncertainty", the EEF reports.

Most of the schools that did not use the programme, which served as a control group, had similar amounts of dedicated reading time and some used other evidence-based schemes and reading interventions, the report notes.

The evaluation also found that the programme was "very well received" by the vast majority of teachers, teaching assistants, and librarians who perceived positive impacts on pupil reading ability, reading stamina, and attitudes.

Another set of data analysing the long-term impact of AR KS2 reading scores for pupils who did the programme in Years 4 and 5 found similar results as pupils made no additional progress compared with those in control schools.

As for FSM pupils, it found that, on average, they made one month of additional progress in reading, but the result had again a high level of statistical uncertainty. 

The full report can be found here. 

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Claudia Civinini

Claudia Civinini

Find me on Twitter @claudiacivinini

Latest stories

Super-curricular activities: are you offering them?

Is your school offering super-curricular activities?

Students need more than qualifications to get a place at a top university - and super-curricular activities are giving their applications that boost. But how do they work in practice?
Kate Parker 24 Sep 2021