Read Write Inc. Phonics is a programme developed by Ruth Miskin that teaches young children to read and write through a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy.
The EEF has commissioned two different independent evaluations of Read Write Inc. Phonics:
- The first is an effectiveness study, designed to find out whether a programme can work across many schools. Around 120 primary schools across England were recruited to this randomised controlled trial, which is being independently evaluated by the American Institutes of Research. This trial also includes an evaluation of Fresh Start, a catch-up programme also developed by Ruth Miskin for children that are still learning to read at the end of primary and the start of secondary.
- The second is an evaluation of Read Write Inc. Phonics’ delivery through the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund (TLIF). This is focused on schools in areas of educational challenge, graded Inadequate of Requires Improvement by Ofsted, or with low reading data. It was designed to be evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research through a quasi-experimental design, where a similar group of schools is recruited as a comparison group.
The EEF made a commitment to publish these two studies together, to provide schools with the most useful and consistent messages around the findings. It was expected that the two reports would be published in Spring 2023. However, they will now be published in Autumn 2022.
This is because, despite the efforts of the independent evaluators for the second trial, it has not been possible to recruit a large enough group of schools that had similar characteristics to the schools receiving the programme. Without a well-matched control group, the evaluators are unable to make a meaningful assessment of the impact of the programme.
They will instead produce a ‘lessons learned’ report. The aim is to publish this at the same time as the independent evaluation of the first trial, which is currently going through the EEF’s rigorous pre-publication process, which includes technical and peer review. The findings will be shared with the programme developers shortly prior to publication and after the report has gone through peer and technical review.
The EEF has several resources that draw on a wide range of evidence and give schools valuable insight into the impact and implementation of phonics approaches. We would encourage schools to consult these resources: