Cookies on Helen Arkell

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Helen Arkell website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

What Works for Children and Young People with Literacy Difficulties?

What Works Greg Brooks

Call for information for 5th edition of

What Works for Children and Young People with Literacy Difficulties?

Greg Brooks, 6 October 2015


I have been commissioned by the Dyslexia-SpLD Trust to produce a fifth edition of my report on What Works? (The previous editions, under slightly different titles, appeared in 1998 (with colleagues from NFER as co-authors), 2002, 2007 and 2013.)

The new edition will, as always, mainly feature schemes intended to improve the reading and/or spelling and/or writing attainment of children aged 5-14, but (as in the 4th edition) will have some coverage of 14- to 18-year-olds (including those who have offended).

As always, some previously-listed schemes will disappear (usually because they are no longer available or, in the case of schemes intended to boost literacy at primary/secondary transition, because there has been a notable increase in stronger evidence), and quite a few will be added, including several that have already been added to the Trust’s website – where all new schemes will also be entered.

I will be contacting the providers of almost all currently included schemes to check that their schemes are still available and they still want them included, and to ask if they have more data they wish me to scrutinise. If providers don’t respond I will assume that their schemes are no longer available unless I happen to know otherwise.

The criteria for inclusion in this edition are:

  • the scheme must be a catch-up intervention, and not an initial and/or preventive scheme
  • the scheme must be currently available
  • the scheme’s quantitative data must come from one or more studies in the UK
  • the scheme’s evidence of effectiveness must be based on pre- and post-test data from an appropriate test(s)
  • if the data come only from a treatment group the test(s) must have been given to a sample of at least 30 children, this being the minimum number considered by statisticians to allow reliable statistical findings
  • but if the data come from studies with more rigorous designs (randomised control trials, or quasi-experiments with well-matched treatment and comparison groups) the minimum sample size can be smaller
  • it must be possible to calculate an impact measure (ratio gain or effect size) from the data – for details on these measures see the Appendix to Part 1 of the 4th edition
  • the scheme must have shown, in at least one study, a ratio gain of at least 2.0 or an effect size of at least 0.3, that is, at least reasonable effectiveness

If you have quantitative evidence meeting these criteria from anywhere in the UK on a scheme designed to boost the literacy attainment of children and young people aged 5-18, and are willing to share that information with me for possible inclusion in the new edition, please send it to me at [email protected]

I will acknowledge all responses to this invitation, whether or not the information is used in the new edition, both on receiving it and in the report.

Deadline: 30 November 2015.

Many thanks in advance for your help.


Website by Dewsign  |  UI Design by Sam Barclay

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1064646) A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 3432423.