Education Endowment Foundation:Lexia Reading Core5® (trial)

Lexia Reading Core5® (trial)

Queen's University Belfast

A trial to test the impact of Lexia Reading Core5® (Lexia), a computer-based integrated learning system that aims to improve reading skills by providing children with individualised reading instruction and practice in six areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural awareness, automaticity, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension.

Independent Evaluator

RAND

Sign-up deadline

31 May, 2024 at 12:00am

Key Stages

Key Stage 1

School places in 2023-24 academic year

112

Regions available

Recruiting in all regions.

Recruitment and Delivery

Recruitment: Sept 2023 – May 2024

Delivery: June 2024

Recruitment for cohort two of Lexia Reading Core5® (2022 – 24 trial) is now open.

Reading Core5® (Lexia) is a computer-based integrated learning system that aims to improve reading skills. Lexia provides children with individualised reading instruction and practice in six areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural awareness, automaticity, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension.

Pupils begin with an online independent diagnostic test and are automatically placed at an appropriate level: they then work independently on their school’s devices away from their classroom setting, with support and oversight from trained teachers, HLTAs or TAs. The online programme tracks pupils’ progress, providing extra practice and instruction on areas of difficulty. Trained teachers or HTLAs/​TAs are encouraged to monitor pupil progress on a weekly basis via online progress reports that are automatically generated by the Lexia software.

Teachers, Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) or Teaching Assistants (TAs) are trained to deliver the programme and attend all training sessions. Pupils can use the system with minimal supervision, the programme also includes offline paper-based resources for school staff to offer additional support where needed. Pupils are expected to use the system at least four times each week, for 30 minutes per session.

Schools/​settings can register their interest to take part in this project below, or go directly to LexiaUK’s website to find out more and sign up: New EEF Project for English Primary Schools – LexiaUK.

As part of the Department for Education’s Accelerator Fund, the EEF is commissioning a number of trials of programmes that show promise for increasing pupil attainment.

The EEF conducted an efficacy trial of Lexia Reading Core5® in Key Stage 1 (Year 2 pupils, aged six to seven), the results of which were initially published in September 2021. This trial of Lexia involved 697 pupils across 57 schools. The independent evaluation found that children who were identified by their teachers as struggling with reading and offered Lexia made the equivalent of one additional months’ progress in reading, on average, compared to other children identified as struggling readers who did not take part in Lexia. The primary outcome measure was a composite of the standard age scores of four subtests of the WRMT-III — Word Identification, Word Attack, Passage Comprehension, and Oral Reading Fluency (Woodcock, 2011) — for Year 2 pupils. These results have a high security rating: four out of five on the EEF padlock scale.

Exploratory analysis showed that children eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) who were offered Lexia made, on average, the equivalent of two additional months’ progress in reading. The evaluation also found that the programme had a positive effect on skills that are important for further literacy development. Children offered Lexia also made one month’s additional progress in comprehension and fluency skills compared to the control group equivalent. Those skills are important for further literacy development.

The EEF is interested in testing the programme further at effectiveness level, at a larger scale and in a closer approximation to real world conditions.

Lexia is being independently evaluated at an effectiveness level. This means that it will be delivered to a large number of schools under everyday conditions. The evaluation will be a two-armed cluster-randomised controlled trial, with randomisation at school level. 224 schools will be randomly allocated to either receive Lexia or to act as a business-as-usual comparison group. This is a split cohort trial: half the total schools (112) will be recruited in 2023 to participate in the trial in 2023 – 24, with half recruited in 2024 to participate in 2024 – 25.

The primary outcome will look at the impact of Lexia on struggling readers in Year 2 (age 6 – 7). The evaluation will also look at the impact specifically for pupils receiving free school meals and explore reasons why the intervention may be a gap closer.

The evaluation report will be published in Summer 2026.