Reading Recovery: a sector-wide analysis
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Deborah Bradford and Wai-Yin Wan

The Reading Recover (RR) scheme was developed in New Zealand in the 1970s as an intensive, individualised literacy intervention, which aimed to accelerate literacy learning for pupils performing in the bottom 20% of Year One.  In 2012 it was offered to half of the primary schools in New South Wales, Australia, offering a chance to re-examine the effectiveness of the scheme.

This analysis did find evidence of the effectiveness of the RR as a short-term intervention for developing reading skills among low performing pupils. However, it also found that the RR did not appear to be an effective process for pupils who begin Year One with more proficient literacy skills, at least compared to other interventions or initiatives that were available in non-RR schools.

The analysis suggests that the most cost-effective method of implementing the RR in Australia would be to only target pupils performing at the lowest levels, or to restrict RR to schools that are identified as having a proportionately higher number of pupils who do not meet performance benchmarks in Kindergarten or early Year One.

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Deborah Bradford and Wai-Yin Wan

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Centre for Education Statistics and Analysis

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Examining the Reading Recovery programme in Australia, this analysis suggests that it is likely to be more effective in helping the lowest performing pupils. It may make for interesting reading for professionals keen to explore successful international schemes. 


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R189 / 164
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