Four school-led literacy catch-up projects announced

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has funded four school-led projects, totalling £1 million pounds, to help raise the attainment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds whose literacy levels are below the expected standard at the end of primary school.

This follows the announcement of 19 literacy catch-up projects in November which focussed on a variety of aspects of literacy, including comprehension, decoding, writing and reading for pleasure.

The four new projects, each being led by individual schools or consortia of schools, are:

  • £306,000 to Perry Beeches Academy to test the impact of one to one academic coaching on literacy outcomes. Graduate coaches provide intensive tuition to pupils in key subjects.
  • £148,000 to Greenford High School to develop and pilot a programme to improve pupils’ speaking and listening skills. The programme will aim to improve the quality of classroom talk and also train teaching assistants to deliver targeted interventions.
  • £390,000 to run four trials of Fresh Start, a phonics programme for older children. The four trials are being led by Harlow Education Consortium, Withernsea High School, Ercall Wood Technology College and Bridgwater High School.
  • £147,000 for four secondary schools – Thornaby Academy, St. John’s C of E School, Broadgreen High School and Tideway School – to run randomised controlled trials of Accelerated Reader, a web-based programme that carefully matches books to pupils’ reading abilities, offers quizzes to check understanding and rewards engagement.

These four projects demonstrate an interesting new model for EEF funding, with schools running their own randomised controlled trials and results being aggregated across several trials to increase their significance and applicability.