Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
09/04/2013
Date assigned
25/04/2013
Last edited
24/05/2013
Prospective/Retrospective
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Completed
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims?
Generally, there is significant international activity in relation to reading for pleasure support and book gifting programmes, utilising substantial amounts of financial and human resources. There are limited rigorous evaluations of these programmes. Some have been subjected to a high standard of evaluation including: the ‘Reach out and Read’ programme which provides a suite of reading support and education services, and includes the provision of free age-appropriate books; the ‘Little Books’ programme which combines book gifting and literacy support between home and school; and several Booktrust book gifting interventions (Bookstart, Bookstart+, Booktime, and the Letterbox Club).
This proposed study will use rigorous evaluation to investigate a programme called ‘TextNow’ which combines book gifting and reading support for children in their transitional summer in which they move between primary and secondary schools.

Who can participate?
Approximately 30 secondary schools in England, each working with one or more of their feeder primary schools, will take part in the evaluation. For each participating secondary school, approximately 20 children currently in Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) of their feeder primaries will be invited to take part. Informed consent will be requested from the participant’s parents. Parents will also be prompted to discuss the research with their child before they provide consent. A total of 600 children will be recruited.

What does the study involve?
Unitas will deliver their TextNow Transition Programme to 300 of the 600 pupils between May and December 2013 (the intervention group). The remaining 300 children will receive no intervention during the time period (the control group).
Children in the intervention group will receive the TextNow Transition Programme, which includes the following two elements:
1. A literacy programme with mentor led 1:1 coaching sessions occurring 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This will occur at two time points: year six of primary school (for five weeks); and at the beginning of the first year of secondary school (for ten weeks). Mentors usually are: teachers; teaching assistants; non-teaching staff such as technicians or admin staff; parents; university students; community volunteers; or older year group pupils (usually Years 10-13). Schools are free to timetable the sessions whenever suits them best. This could be achieved through withdrawal from lessons, during registration/tutor periods or in break/lunchtime/after school.
2. Access to the online resource ‘MyChoice’ will be made available to the intervention group pupils during the transition summer holidays. ‘MyChoice’ aims to support the pupils’ independent reading. The website has news, quizzes, competitions etc., to engage the young people in fun activities to do with reading, as well as giving them access to a book store. They will have been given credits to choose books for summer holiday reading at the beginning of the pilot and will earn credits during the five week programme in Year 6 and the ten week programme in Year 7 through their attendance. These credits can be used to buy books for reading at home and to build their own personal library.
Children in the control group will receive no intervention during the summer period but will be given vouchers to buy books on completion of the evaluation.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
There are potential benefits on literacy outcomes for intervention group. All participants (control and intervention) will receive vouchers for free books.
There are no anticipated risks of participating in the study.

Where is the study run from?
The study will take place in 30 secondary schools located across England and will be coordinated by the partners in the research team who are based at the Centre for Effective Education in Queen’s University Belfast and the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research in Sheffield Hallam University (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study will start in February 2013 and will be finished in April 2014.

Who is funding the study?
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) are funding the cost of programme delivery and evaluation.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Liam O’Hare (Trial Manager)
l.ohare@qub.ac.uk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Prof Paul Connolly

ORCID ID

Contact details

69-71 University Street
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast
BT7 1HL
United Kingdom
paul.connolly@qub.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

A randomised controlled trial evaluation of the ‘Unitas: TextNow Transition Programme’ for improving reading outcomes among children in transition between Primary and Secondary school

Acronym

UTNTP

Study hypothesis

1. What is the impact of the programme, at post-test, and following the delivery of the programme, on reading outcomes for participating children?
2. Is the programme having a differential impact on children depending on:
2.1. Their gender?
2.2. Their socio-economic status?
3. Does the impact of the programme vary significantly with any variations in implementation found?

Ethics approval

School of Education Research Ethics Committee, Queen’s University Belfast and Sheffield Hallam University Ethics Committee, 25/Mar/2013 (Sheffield Hallam University ref. AM/SW/13)

Study design

Randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Other

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

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

Condition

Improving reading outcomes

Intervention

Children in the intervention group will receive the TextNow Transition Programme, which includes the following two elements:

1. A literacy programme with mentor led 1:1 coaching sessions occurring 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This will occur at two time points: Year six of primary school (for five weeks); and at the beginning of the first year of secondary school (for ten weeks). Mentors usually are: teachers; teaching assistants; non-teaching staff such as technicians or admin staff; parents; university students; community volunteers; or older year group pupils (usually Years 10-13). Schools are free to timetable the sessions whenever suits them best. This could be achieved through withdrawal from lessons, during registration/tutor periods or in break/lunchtime/after school.
2. Access to the online resource ‘MyChoice’ will be made available to the intervention group pupils during the transition summer holidays. ‘MyChoice’ aims to support the pupils’ independent reading. The website has news, quizzes, competitions etc., to engage the young people in fun activities to do with reading, as well as giving them access to a book store. They will have been given credits to choose books for summer holiday reading, at the beginning of the pilot and will earn credits during the five week programme in Year 6 and the ten week programme in Year 7 through their attendance. These credits can be used to buy books for reading at home and to build their own personal library.

The role of the mentor is to support the three TextNow core principals of 'choose, enjoy and understand'. This could include discussion about what the child has been reading, what they enjoy reading as well as what the mentor has read. It would also involve shared reading, questioning for comprehension, practice of strategies such as skimming and scanning. Other suggested activities are visual and kinesthetic activities such as storyboarding or role-playing.

Schools delivering the programme will designate a member of staff as the programme coordinator (usually a teacher/senior leader/librarian/HLTA) and select the volunteer coaches. These might include teachers, teaching assistants, non-teaching staff such as technicians or admin staff, parents, university students or community volunteers.

It is intended that access to ‘MyChoice’ consolidates the pupils 'choosing' skills as they browse the books, read the associated information, look inside at font, layout and images and read a few pages. They can add books to their wish list/basket and purchase some of these using their earned credits.

Children in the control group will receive no intervention during the summer period but will receive vouchers to buy books on completion of the evaluation.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Increases in assessed literacy ability. The New Group reading test will be used as a post-test reading ability measure. http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/new-group-reading-test
2. KS2 results (standardised national school literacy assessment) will act as a pre-test measure.

Secondary outcome measures

Improvement in reading attitudes - Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS – Readers and Reading: the National Report for England 2006 ‘see appendix 7’) will be used as a post-test literacy attitudes measure (reading for pleasure). KS2 results (standardised national school literacy assessment) will act as a pre-test measure.

Overall trial start date

01/05/2013

Overall trial end date

30/04/2014

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Year 6 primary pupils making the transition to the 30 secondary schools
2. Only pupils identified not likely to achieve level 4, or likely to achieve a fragile level (4b or 4c), in English by the end of KS2 (by teacher assessment), as KS2 data will not be available before the project is implemented.

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Child

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

600

Participant exclusion criteria

Pupils with assessed difficulty likely to achieve at or lower than level 2

Recruitment start date

01/05/2013

Recruitment end date

30/04/2014

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

69-71 University Street
Belfast
BT7 1HL
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Queen's University Belfast (UK)

Sponsor details

University Road
Belfast
BT7 1NN
United Kingdom
l.ohare@qub.ac.uk

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

http://www.qub.ac.uk/

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes