Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
07/03/2018
Date assigned
16/04/2018
Last edited
13/04/2018
Prospective/Retrospective
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
Recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
A global goal of education is to improve standards of literacy (the ability to read and write). In England, the latest national results for children in years 3-6, age 7-11 (key stage 2) indicate that only 71% of pupils met the expected standard in reading (DfE 2017). As such it is important that research continues to find effective approaches to increase literacy skills.
Who can participate?
Year 1 pupils in participating schools

What does the study involve?
Participating schools are randomly assigned to one of three groups:
Those in the first group deliver a programme (ABRA) to small groups of participants via online software. This is conducted by a specially trained member of staff for four 15 minute sessions per week.
Those in the second group also have four 15 minute sessions per week but the ABRA programme is delivered using a paper based version.
Schools in the control group continue with usual teaching with a small group of pupils (approx. 5 pre-randomsiation) and deliver additional small group teaching similar to that which is being delivered in the intervention schools. The content of this additional small group teaching is completely up to the school but must be literacy based and cannot be ABRA.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are no direct benefits or risks for those taking part in the study.

Where is the study run from?
201 primary schools in West Midlands, East Midlands, Newcastle, Teeside and Manchester (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
May 2017 to May 2020

Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Mrs Hannah Ainsworth (Scientific)
hannah.ainsworth@york.ac.uk

Trial website

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/abracadabra-abra/

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Kerry Bell

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8461-2183

Contact details

York Trials Unit
Department of Health Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
ARRC Building
University of York
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Mrs Hannah Ainsworth

ORCID ID

Contact details

York Trials Unit
Department of Health Sciences
Faculty of Sciences
ARRC Building
University of York
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom
+44(0)1904 328158
hannah.ainsworth@york.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

V1.0

Study information

Scientific title

Independent evaluation of small group reading support programmes to improve literacy in Year 1 pupils: a three-armed cluster randomised controlled trial

Acronym

ABRA

Study hypothesis

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of an ICT based small group reading support programme (ABRA) delivered at scale and an equivalent non-ICT small group reading support programme delivered at scale to pupils in Year 1 on literacy development.

How effective is the ABRA - ICT delivery model compared with an equivalent non-ICT paper-based small group reading support programme (non-ICT delivery model) in increasing the literacy skills of pupils in Year 1?

If the ABRA - ICT and the non-ICT delivery models are found to have similar effects:
How effective is the small group reading support programme (ABRA - ICT and non-ICT delivery models) in increasing the literacy skills of pupils in Year 1?

If delivery models are found to have different effects:
How effective is ABRA - ICT delivery model compared with usual practice in increasing the literacy skills of pupils in Year 1?

How effective is an equivalent non-ICT paper based delivery model compared with usual practice in increasing the literacy skills of pupils in Year 1?

Ethics approval

1. Durham University School of Education Ethics Committee, March/April 2018 - submission pending
2. Durham University School of Education Ethics Committee approved the Memorandum of Understanding for Schools (V6:20171218), 10/01/2018, no reference number.

Study design

Pragmatic three-arm cluster randomised effectiveness trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Other

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Literacy skills

Intervention

Participating schools are randomly assigned to one of three study arms:
1. ABRA – ICT Delivery: Year 1 children in groups of 3-5 pupils work with a specially trained member of school staff using the ABRA online software for a minimum of four 15 minute sessions per week for 20 weeks during the academic year 2018/2019.
2. ABRA – non-ICT Delivery: Year 1 children in groups of 3-5 pupils work with a specially trained member of school staff using a paper-based version of the ABRA intervention for a minimum of four 15 minute sessions per week for 20 weeks during the academic year 2018/2019.

Both ABRA programmes focus on teaching a balanced reading curriculum to improve attainment. Essential elements of the intervention are:
• A systematic and structured approach to reading
• Evidence based skills learned through a variety of activities linked to real books
• Technology
• Small group work and discussion
• Development of a rich language environment
• Valuing and using pupils’ reflections

3. 'Business as usual’ Approach: Schools in the control group are asked to continue with usual teaching with Year 1 pupils in 2018/2019. Schools are asked to select a small group of pupils (approx. 5 pre-randomsiation) and deliver additional small group teaching similar to that which is being delivered in the intervention schools. The content of this additional small group teaching is completely up to the school but must be literacy based and cannot be ABRA.

Participants are assessed at baseline and 1 year follow up, with tests administered by an independent administrator blinded to allocation.

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Reading ability is assessed using the Progress in Reading Assessment (PiRA) test at baseline and 1 year follow up.

Secondary outcome measures

The following secondary outcomes are collected on a sub-sample of participants (approximately 1800 participants):
1. Reading ability is assessed using the Diagnostic Test of Word Reading Processes (DTWRP) at 1 year follow up.
2. Ability to sound out single letters and letter combination is assessed using the Letter Sound Test (LeST) at 1 year follow up.
3. Reading attitudes are assessed using a survey at 1 year follow up.
4. Long term academic outcomes may be collected from the National Pupil Databse, for example KS1 outcomes at 2 year follow up.

Overall trial start date

10/05/2017

Overall trial end date

31/05/2020

Reason abandoned (if study stopped)

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Year 1 pupils in participating classes at participating schools

Participant type

Other

Age group

Child

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

201 clusters (schools) with approximately 27 pupils in each cluster. Approximately 5400 pupils in total

Participant exclusion criteria

No exclusion criteria

Recruitment start date

01/09/2018

Recruitment end date

30/12/2018

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Schools recruited from West Midlands, East Midlands, Newcastle, Teeside and Manchester
-
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of York

Sponsor details

Co/ Micheal Barber
York Science Park
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom
+44(0)1904 435154
michael.barber@york.ac.uk

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation

Alternative name(s)

EEF

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

foundation

Location

United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

A final report will be submitted to and published by the study funder Education Endowment Foundation.

IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study will be deposited in the EEF Data Archive (in association with the Fischer Family Trust). Enquiries to FFT’s Datalab can be made via educationdatalab@fft.org.uk. Participants are made aware that data will be placed in the repository. Both an anonymised, and pseudonymised dataset are uploaded. Pupil Matching Reference (PMR) is provided to allow pupil data to be matched to the NPD for long-term follow-up of educational attainment. Unique Pupil Numbers are not uploaded. Data should be available in the repository one month after submission of final report.

Intention to publish date

30/05/2020

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes