Read Write Inc. Phonics

This project and its evaluation were affected by the 2020 and 2021 partial school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the delivery has been delayed and the evaluation will be completed later than planned. The evaluation protocol is being updated and will be published here as soon as possible.

Read Write Inc. Phonics has been developed by Ruth Miskin Training and is a professional development and teaching programme. It includes systematic synthetic phonics, reading and applying phonics to decodable books, and skills for writing, including handwriting and compositional writing. This project includes more support for schools than the typical Read Write Inc. Phonics programme as it is designed for schools in challenging circumstances. This includes schools in Opportunity Areas and priority areas clustered around Opportunity Areas and with either Ofsted status 3 or 4 or KS1 reading data that is causing concern.

Schools will be provided with 16 in-school professional development days over two years, which includes training for teachers, middle leaders and head teachers. The school leadership team will establish a weekly coaching cycle to ensure quality delivery; this will be data-driven and will focus particularly on those children who are making the slowest progress. 

Why are we funding it?

Fresh Start, the Ruth Miskin Training programme for older children who are struggling to read, has been tested through a previous EEF efficacy trial involving ten secondary schools and 433 Year 7 pupils. The study randomised pupils within each of the schools and focused particularly on pupils who did not achieve a level 4 on their Key Stage 2 SATs. The project found a positive impact on all pupils of an additional three months’ progress over the course of an academic year. Read, Write Inc. Phonics uses identical techniques with younger children with the aim of preventing reading difficulties so that later interventions are not required or so that the number of children who need them is minimised.

This will complement the EEF’s current efficacy trial of Read Write Inc. Phonics, testing a more intensive model designed for schools in challenging circumstances. 

How are we evaluating it?

This efficacy trial will be evaluated by a team from NFER. The evaluation will be structured as a quasi-experimental study and a comparison group of similar schools will be created from the National Pupil Database. The impact of the programme will be looked at using the Key Stage 1 reading assessment and the phonics screening test.

There will also be a process evaluation which will explore the programme’s impact on teacher knowledge and confidence in teaching phonics, reading and writing, and their participation in literacy CPD. 

When will the evaluation report be due?

The evaluation report will be published in 2023.