Switch-on Reading

Years/Age range


Type of children

Weak and disadvantaged readers in primary, secondary and special schools working below age-expected levels, including those at primary/secondary transition

Child/Adult ratio


Length of intervention

10/12 weeks

Brief description

This is an intensive 10/12 week intervention. It has been developed in Nottinghamshire over a number of years as part of the Every Child a Reader initiative, and is inspired by Reading Recovery. It is delivered by staff, most commonly teaching assistants, who have been trained in the approach. Its purpose is to improve pupils’ reading accuracy, comprehension and fluency, and so close the reading achievement gap for vulnerable children working below age-expected levels. It has also been shown to benefit spelling. Pupils attend daily 20-minute reading sessions over the course of one term, on a withdrawal basis.


Useful for reading accuracy and spelling in Y1-6
Useful for reading comprehension in Y7

Further information



Both effectiveness statements are based on results from randomised controlled trials, and are therefore more reliable than the ‘useful’ ratings suggest. The Y7 trial was funded by the Education Endowment Foundation in its focus on primary/secondary transition, and is the first literacy intervention trial thus funded to be fully reported, and the first EEF-funded trial to show a positive result.