Reading Recovery Europe


FAQs about Reading Recovery

The following Frequently Asked Questions should help you find out more about Reading Recovery.

How do I get Reading Recovery in my school?

The first thing you need to do is contact the nearest Reading Recovery centre offering new teacher training (known as Initial Professional Development) by an accredited teacher leader and secure a place on the course for your staff member, who will learn how to deliver Reading Recovery in the school. The teacher leader will be able to provide you with further details about the course, as well as the start date and fee. Alternatively you could advertise for an already trained Reading Recovery teacher on our jobs page

How do I become a Reading Recovery teacher?

To become a Reading Recovery teacher you need to complete an accredited Reading Recovery Initial Professional Development course taught by a qualified teacher leader, part-time over a full academic year. Browse our directory of Reading Recovery centres to find the nearest location to train. 

How do I get Reading Recovery for my child?

Reading Recovery operates in schools and is designed for the lowest attaining five or six year olds. If you think your child needs Reading Recovery you should talk to their class teacher. See our parents section for more guidance. 

Is Reading Recovery suitable for children with SEN?

Reading Recovery is a preventative measure, designed to overcome literacy difficulties. It is an effective and appropriate response for children with additional educational needs.

Reading Recovery is targeted at the lowest attaining 5% of children in literacy in Year 1, whatever the reason for their difficulties, which can include pupils already identified as having special educational needs. Reading Recovery is not normally classified as an SEN intervention, but can help such children. Some special schools have, in liaison with local and national leaders, drawn upon Reading Recovery professional development to provide carefully tailored support for their children.

Why is Reading Recovery taught one-to-one rather than in small groups?

Evidence has shown that one-to-one tuition is most effective in helping children who struggle to catch up with their classmates fast. 84% of children after Reading Recovery are able to read and write within the appropriate band for their age. No other early literacy intervention, group or individual, achieves results comparable to those of Reading Recovery. 

What is the evidence that Reading Recovery works?

Reading Recovery has required data collection and research since its beginnings, perhaps making it the most fully researched early reading programme in the world. The independent review by the Department for Education (Evaluation of Every Child a Reader (ECaR), May 2011), a mixed-method multi-faceted programme of research to investigate the implementation, impact and value-for-money of the intervention, clearly establishes the effectiveness of the Reading Recovery on scientific evidence. Each year we produce an annual monitoring report for the United Kingdom and Ireland, which is based on the data entered by each Reading Recovery teacher on the progress each child has made. This provides information to help us evaluate performance and to shape and improve the intervention.

Do children who have received Reading Recovery continue to make progress in subsequent years?

Yes. Numerous research and evaluation studies using widely accepted standardised measures and/or state assessment tests demonstrate that Reading Recovery students make continued progress for at least six years after the programme has ended. 

Is Reading Recovery expensive?

Reading Recovery is good economic sense for several reasons:
1. It is effective in both the short-term and long-term
2. It is a way to reduce costs associated with long-term special education needs and other effects of poor literacy. See
The long term costs of literacy difficulties. (PDF 873kB)
3. It is a way to identify children who's needs may be addressed through less intensive literacy programmes, or those in need of specialist provision
4. It is a way to build capacity in teacher expertise through professional development

Why does Reading Recovery serve the lowest-achieving children?

Not all children will need the level of support Reading Recovery provides to catch up with their classmates. Those with the greatest need are given priority because they are the least likely to be able to catch up spontaneously or with light touch support. Once they fall behind they are the most likely to go forward at inadequate rates of progress, and as a result to need expensive special support in future years.

What is the role of phonics in Reading Recovery?

Within each lesson, Reading Recovery teachers attend to all of the essential components of reading, including phonemic awareness and phonics. They give systematic, specific and explicit attention to letters, sounds, and words, both while reading and writing extended text and as direct instruction. Reading Recovery teachers recognise that decoding must be purposeful and efficient. They help children learn to use connections between letters and sounds and to use their knowledge of how words work in order to solve problems with difficult words while maintaining comprehension. They enable children to engage more effectively with the systematic phonics teaching of their classroom, and to reach the level of their peers in their ability to decode. 

How can I organise books for teaching reading in my Key Stage 1 classroom to provide a reliable gradient of challenge?

You can order Which Book and Why, which enables schools to create, audit and supplement a high-quality library of sets of books for use with groups of Foundation and Key Stage 1 children. Talk with your local teacher leader about bespoke professional development for your school around selecting and using books to meet children's differing needs in literacy learning. 

How do I order a Reading Recovery Guide to Book Selection?

The Reading Recovery Guide to Book Selection is only available to accredited teachers implementing Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery teachers can order a copy through their teacher leader. If you are not a Reading Recovery teacher we would recommend Which Book and Why

Are there any Reading Recovery centres Northern Ireland?

There are no Reading Recovery centres in Northern Ireland. The nearest centre to Northern Ireland is in Monaghan. If you are interested in becoming a Reading Recovery provider for Northern Ireland, please get in touch by email ioe.ilc@ucl.ac.uk.

Is it possible to be trained as a Reading Recovery teacher or teacher leader outside of the UK?

Implementing Reading Recovery in a new country is quite a complex process, and we can advise potential providers how they might go about it. Training to become a Reading Recovery teacher or teacher leader involves deep professional learning as part of a community of learners, which necessarily requires regular attendance at an accredited site. It cannot be undertaken by short courses or distance learning. The training to become a Reading Recovery teacher is facilitated by a Reading Recovery teacher leader through a one year Initial Professional Development course at an accredited centre. Reading Recovery teachers receive further professional development through a minimum of six Continuing Professional Development sessions each year, and annual teacher leader and colleague visits for as long as they are teaching Reading Recovery. This provision would need to be factored into the decision to train in the UK as a Reading Recovery teacher.

Training to become a Reading Recovery teacher leader requires attendance at an accredited site to complete a full time, year-long training course. We have in the past trained Reading Recovery teacher leaders for Anguilla and for St Kitts and Nevis. This was funded by the respective governments and the teacher leaders relocated to the UK for the year of training. Accreditation as a teacher leader requires ongoing professional development support, including site visits from the Reading Recovery leadership team, this cost would need to be factored into the decision to train in the UK as a Reading Recovery teacher leader.

Reading Recovery is available internationally and training may be negotiated in centres overseas for their education systems.

If you wish further information, please email ioe.ilc@ucl.ac.uk marking it for the attention of Dr Sue Bodman.

I am currently a Reading Recovery teacher overseas, can I move to the UK and continue teaching Reading Recovery?

To work as a Reading Recovery teacher within the UK from overseas you will firstly need to provide evidence of your Reading Recovery qualification to the teacher leader in the region where you wish to work. The teacher leader will then determine the level of retraining/support required to meet UK standards, which is assessed on an individual basis.

An essential requirement to become a Reading Recovery teacher within the UK is qualified teacher status (QTS). Find out more about gaining QTS in the UK.

How do I get our publications included in the Reading Recovery Guide to Book Selection?

The first step to inclusion in our Guide to Book Selection would be a review by the editorial committee to determine whether the materials are suitable for use in Reading Recovery. Then levels are field-trialled extensively with children receiving Reading Recovery.

This is done by the Review Committee at the IOE, not by teacher groups. If you would like us to review the materials then please send them in the post, marking them for the attention of Dr Sue Bodman.