IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: ‘Recovering’ from the pandemic: exploring the role for Reading Recovery

13 May 2021, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Teachers and children reading at table in class. Image: Sarah-Jane Gregori for UCL Institute of Education

This Department for Learning and Leadership (DLL) research seminar explores concepts of ‘recovery’ and describes the role played by Reading Recovery, an early literacy intervention, during the pandemic.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Bernie Munoz

Watch the webinar

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/A2CBI444

The speakers will consider organisational and pedagogical systemic features which enabled or prevented schools and districts to continue supporting children with literacy difficulties.

What do we mean by ‘recovery’? Significant contemporary debate focuses on ‘recovering’ children’s education:

  • some arguments contrast learning loss and learning disruption due to school closures
  • the English government’s ‘Education Recovery’ tsar, Kevan Collins, proposed it would take schools many years to ‘recover’. 
  • there has been much talk of a ‘Recovery Curriculum’, to plan for transition back to school
  • societal ‘recovery’ usually takes years rather than months when seeking to address the enduring human, physical, environmental, and economic consequences of emergencies. 
  • Reading Recovery can ‘recover’ literacy progress for the lowest attaining pupils at around six years of age. 

In each of these examples, ‘recovery’ is framed differently, suggesting different drivers behind goals, priorities and actions, and what might pragmatically be possible.

In this event, we argue that to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, the existing underlying causes and impacts of disadvantage also need to be addressed.

A systemic intervention with ‘recovery’ at its heart responded to the need to maintain early literacy intervention during the pandemic. We signal its potential as normality returns.


  • Sue Bodman, Reading Recovery National Trainer/Coordinator
  • Glen Franklin, National Leader of Literacy at the International Literacy Centre, UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
  • Sinead Harmey, Lecturer in Literacy Education at the Department of Learning and Leadership, IOE
  • Helen Morris, National Leader Reading Recovery at the Department of Learning and Leadership, IOE

DLL seminar series

The Department of Learning and Leadership (DLL) seminar series showcases ongoing research and brings the wider community together to discuss pressing research and policy-oriented issues of national and international concern.


Image: Sarah-Jane Gregori for UCL Institute of Education