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Reading scheme that really works

I always look forward to reading Peter Wilby's insightful column. However, I must object to his passing, but inaccurate, reference to Reading Recovery last week ("Why we will always need our Atkins diets", TES, June 30).

Reading Recovery is not, as he suggests, a method of teaching reading for all children. It is a research-based programme for children who have made little progress with learning to read and write after one year in school.

The aim is to get these children early and fast up to the average class level in reading and writing.

In spite of its demonstrated success, it has been extremely hard to secure funding for the programme. At the moment a few inner-city schools get partial funding from a collaboration of charitable trusts and the Government through the "Every Child a Reader" scheme.

Reading Recovery is not a "fad": it has been working for more than 30 years in schools and countries with the foresight and commitment to fund it, and often helps children from less advantaged backgrounds.

Peter Wilby has written about how educational outcomes are often linked to social background. Reading Recovery shows how we can break this familiar cycle.

Eileen Pike

Reading Recovery teacher leader, Royal Hill, London SE10

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