Factfile: how Reading Recovery works

22nd April 2005 at 01:00
Reading Recovery is an intensive tuition scheme for six-year-olds who are struggling at the end of a year of primary school.

Specially-trained teachers work one-to-one with them in daily half-hour sessions, designed to build on what the child can already do.

Children are released from the programme when they have caught up with their classmates, which normally takes around 12 to 20 weeks.

The programme, developed in New Zealand, was funded through government grants in the early 1990s, but this funding was discontinued in 1995.

At present, about 5,000 six-year-olds receive Reading Recovery every year, with schools and local authorities paying for it. In 2003, its success rate in preparing children to progress in ordinary classes was 81 per cent. Most of the remaining children have also improved significantly.

Initially, the scheme was used with the bottom 20 per cent of readers, but now usually eight to 10 children a year will receive the programme in a school from a teacher working half-time in the scheme. About half the children are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Key stage 2 test results show that about 70 per cent of the children who have had the programme reach level 4, and many more attain level 3.

Reading Recovery has been estimated at costing more than pound;1,000 per child, in addition to teacher-training costs, but proponents argue that it saves money in the long term as fewer children need extra help.


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today