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Reading Recovery helps the lowest attaining children catch up in literacy. For more information see our leaflet below.

Reading Recovery info leaflet.pdf(0.97Kb)

About Reading Recovery

84% of children after Reading Recovery are able to read and write within the appropriate band for their age.

About Reading Recovery

Reading Recovery, an intervention supported by the DfE, is designed for children aged five or six, who are the lowest achieving in literacy after their first year of school. These children are often not able to read the simplest of books or write their own name before the programme. They receive a short series of intensive lessons with a specially trained teacher in their own school.


Children in Reading Recovery have individual lessons for 30 minutes every day. The lesson series lasts for up to 20 weeks but is shorter for many children. The programme is different for every child, starting from what the child knows and what he/she needs to learn next. The focus of each lesson is to comprehend messages in reading and construct messages in writing, learning how to attend to detail without losing focus on meaning.


The lesson series finishes when the child is able to read and write without help, at the appropriate level for their age. Most children who complete Reading Recovery have gone from text Level 0 to Level 17. These children have learned four-to-five times faster than their classmates to catch up and after the intervention their progress continues in line with their peers.


Around one in five children do not make this level of progress and are referred back to the school for long-term support. However they have usually made considerable improvements in their reading and writing, gaining one year of reading age in six months and progressing from a Level 0 to a Level 10 text.


For more details of the gains made by children in Reading Recovery go to our annual monitoring report. For more about Reading Recovery see Standards & Guidelines (pages 7-10).

Benefits of Reading Recovery

  • •  Early identification of children with literacy difficulties and in eight out of 10 cases, a means of resolving them
  • • Detailed diagnostic assessment of strengths and difficulties that will help to determine the learning needs of the few children who need longer term support
  • • A highly trained Reading Recovery teacher who can share skills and expertise with the whole school staff
  • •  Success, enjoyment and improved self-esteem for children who need it most
  • •  Improved opportunities for all, as classes move through the school with no children who cannot read or write
  • •  Reduce the demand for costly special educational needs support in school and other long term costs that are linked to literacy failure, including truancy; exclusion from school; reduced employment opportunities; increased health risks; and a greatly increased risk of involvement with the criminal justice system


Reading Recovery is the foundation intervention for Every Child a Reader (ECaR).