Today, Ofsted issued a research report on how high-performing secondary schools provide individualized assistance for struggling readers.
Reading is vital to all subjects, and students who are unable to read well will struggle to meet the expectations of secondary school.
Approximately one-fourth of 11-year-olds do not attain the required reading standard at the conclusion of primary school each year. Fewer than one-fifth of these students may anticipate earning a GCSE grade 4 in English. Inability to read effectively is frequently associated with poor behavior. Adults with low literacy are more likely to have fewer employment options and a lower income, according to the available information.
Our study’s objective was to determine how schools ensure that students who leave primary school unable to read age-appropriate books fluently become proficient readers and maintain proficiency in all other curriculum subjects.
The six schools we visited for the study were selected because a greater-than-anticipated percentage of their initially poor readers passed the English language GCSE.
In these schools, we discovered:
Senior leaders prioritized reading by investing in additional, individualized assistance for struggling readers and in training for reading teachers.
Teachers accurately identified reading knowledge gaps among students.
Staff who taught reading were experts in instructing struggling readers.
There were established monitoring procedures for this instruction and its impact on struggling readers.
As students’ reading proficiency increased, they gained confidence and became more motivated to read in class.
Chief Inspector at Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, stated:
Reading is a crucial skill for life. However, secondary school administrators and teachers should be aware that a considerable number of their students lack fundamental skills.
With very few exceptions, all children should graduate from school as proficient readers. Therefore, it is crucial that children who leave primary school unable to read well receive the additional instruction they need to function academically and in society at large.
In March of 2022, researchers visited six secondary schools for research purposes.