A proven approach

Currently, around a quarter of the children in an average class leave their primary school unable to read well.  We believe that a very high proportion of these children can improve their reading and succeed at school if offered the right help at the right time.  The Schoolreaders approach, which delivers regular, short reading practice sessions, offers a proven formula for improving children's literacy skills.


When they sign up with Schoolreaders our volunteers agree to be part of the scheme for a minimum of one academic year.  They attend their school at least once a week, and give short reading practice sessions to any child identified by teaching staff as being likely to benefit. 


This approach is in line with recommendations from education professionals and academics.   The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) says 'Evidence indicates that one to one tuition can be effective, delivering approximately five additional months’ progress on average'.   An authoritative 2011 study by American academics  similarly concludes that 'one-to-one tutoring is very effective in improving reading performance'.


These conclusions are confirmed by statistics gathered by Schoolreaders.  The following figures are based on responses to a survey of teachers at our partner schools carried out in summer 2019.

95% of schools rated the volunteer impact on the children as good or excellent.


92% of schools noted the positive impact on the children’s reading confidence, 85% on their reading enjoyment, 78% on their reading fluency and 73% on their self-esteem.


95% of schools rated the skills and competency of our volunteers as good or excellent.


Over 3 terms, 12% of schools estimated that on average their pupils made 6 months additional progress in reading as a result of the Schoolreaders intervention, 46% 3-6 months and 37% 1-3 months.


In order to ensure that these statistics are as robust as possible, we have had advice and support from the Department of Education at the University of Bedfordshire.  The project has been led by Professor Janet Wearmouth, Professor of Education at Bedford (and formerly Director of the Centre for Curriculum and Teaching studies at the Open University and Professor of Education at the University of Wellington, New Zealand).  Professor Wearmouth and her team have ensured that our questions have been framed precisely and that analysis of responses has been rigorous. We are very grateful to Professor Wearmouth and her colleagues for their help. 

If you would like to know more about how our survey was conducted or analysed, please contact us on the email below. 


'We had have our highest reading SATS results, which our Schoolreaders volunteers' contribution is very much part of.'

- A Bedfordshire School

'A huge benefit, particularly for those children who do not get that support at home.'

- A Lincolnshire School

'Very grateful for the time volunteered.  Appreciate the communication in the class folders.  Have noticed progress in reading age, confidence and ability to discuss a text, characters and plot.  Greater inference skills displayed.'

- A Hertfordshire School


'They are helping our children to have a love of books and enjoy reading out loud and progress.  This is very important to us as some of our children do not read at home.'

- A Buckinghamshire School

'Thank you for all you do to try and get reading volunteers in to school.  It does make a difference!

- A Wiltshire School

'Thank you for your help - the volunteers are committed and provide a high quality of volunteering.'

- A Leicestershire School

'Children love having special 1:1 time with a volunteer where they can really embed their learning and understanding of what they are reading.  They really help to raise children's self esteem and feeling valued, which has to be the primary aim of any school.'

- A Wiltshire School




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