Paired Reading is a peer tutoring programme in secondary schools which trains teachers to support and encourage the regular tutoring of Year 7 pupils (aged 11 – 12 years) by Year 9 pupils (aged 13 – 14 years). The Paired Reading programme aims to improve pupils’ general literacy in addition to speaking and listening skills. This is achieved by pupils working together to follow the Paired Reading steps to choose the material to read, and discuss this, together with the older pupil (tutor) supporting the reading, correcting errors and praising the younger pupil (tutee) throughout.
The 16-week programme is intended to take place during normal school hours in timetabled sessions, for 20 minutes each week. Teachers in participating schools received training from the delivery team, a detailed programme manual and extensive digital resources.
The impact of Paired Reading on 2,736 pupils in 120 classes in ten participating schools (1,370 in Year 7 and 1,366 in Year 9) was tested using a cluster randomised controlled trial design with 58 classes randomly allocated to receive the programme and 62 classes allocated to the control condition. Schools from the North Tyneside local authority (LA) and in neighbouring LAs of South Tyneside and Sunderland took part in the trial over the 2013/14 academic year.