News and Comment

What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties?

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Our evaluation of the Sound Check programme has recently been referenced in the fifth edition of Professor Greg Brooks’ What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties? which details the effectiveness of schemes to support the reading, spelling, or overall writing performance of lower-attaining pupils.

Sound Check was a programme run by the British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia Action, and Spring Board, and funded by the Department for Education, supporting primary school children who did not meet the required standard in the Phonics Screening Check. We evaluated the Sound Check programme in 2013-2015.

In our evaluation we conducted a quantitative analysis of secondary data on pupils’ performance in the Phonics Screening Check as well as a number of other literacy measures and behaviour, conducted pre and post intervention. The evaluation also involved analysis of data from a matched control group of pupils that we sourced from the National Pupil Database.

We found that the pupils receiving support through the Sound Check programme tended to improve their performance more than those in the control group, and were more likely to achieve the required standard in their retake. Our analysis showed that boys, pupils eligible for Free School Meals, and younger pupils, particularly improved their literacy performance, more so than their counterparts in the control group.

Full findings from the report can be found here.