Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
This study will consist of two literacy programmes: Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VE) and Narrative Intervention Programme (NIP) created by Victoria Joffe, an academic at City University London. VE has two aims: to teach children new words and to encourage them to use these words in speaking and writing. NIP is a practical language programme that focuses on improving the understanding and expression of stories. The study is being tried in schools in order to see whether the programme can improve the reading ability of Year 7 students who have low literacy and/or reading abilities. Should this research discover that the programme is successful, then it is hoped that the scheme will be offered to other pupils within the school, as well as hopefully being rolled out to other schools in the future.

Who can participate?
Year 7 students with suitably poor reading/literacy skills can participate in the study.

What does the study involve?
Participants will sit a reading ability test in September 2013, before being randomly allocated to either attend the sessions, or to carry on with their normal school curriculum. In April 2014, the students will sit another reading test to find out whether the programme has improved reading/literacy levels above and beyond the improvement gained by the standard curriculum.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The main benefit to taking part is the chance for pupils to be involved in a new scheme that intends to improve their literacy and reading abilities. There are few disadvantages and risks. The reading and spelling assessments do take a little time to complete but we will ensure that they are completed with minimal disruption to your child’s school work. The assessments may feel challenging and some children may feel a little self-conscious about completing them (for example, if their reading is not as good as they would like it to be). However, all results will remain confidential to the research team and test administrators try to put the participants at their ease throughout.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run in the Greenford High School plus two further secondary schools in the Ealing area of West London, UK.

When is study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study began in January 2013, with the final report due in June 2014.

Who is funding the study?
It is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, UK.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Ben Styles

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Ben Styles


Contact details

National Foundation for Educational Research
The Mere
Upton Park
United Kingdom
01753 637386

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Randomised trial of the Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme and Narrative Intervention Programme for 11-12 year olds considered to be ‘vulnerable’ Level 4 English achievers


Study hypothesis

The primary research question is: what is the impact of the speaking and listening intervention (Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme and Narrative Intervention Programme) on reading ability?
The secondary research question is: are any improvements in attainment moderated by any of the following:
1. prior attainment in reading
2. gender
3. whether a pupil receives the pupil premium
4. what school they attend.
Such interactions may not be causal.

Ethics approval

The pattern of headteacher consent followed by parental opt-out consent was approved by Sarah on behalf of the Code of Practice Committee on 23rd Jan 2013

Study design

Randomised trial with baseline and follow-up reading test.

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Parental consent letters not available in web format; please use the contact details below to request copies.


Struggling readers/low literacy levels


The intervention will be delivered by teaching assistants. The project will be structured as a randomised controlled trial, with assignment carried out at the level of the individual pupil. Across three schools, at least 240 pupils will be selected to participate based on information from literacy assessments conducted by each school in July 2013. Two teaching assistants in each school will deliver the intervention. When not delivering the intervention, they will work in another year of the school to avoid contamination.
The trial will include two experimental groups: the first will receive the speaking and listening intervention; the second will act as a waitlist control group (they will ultimately receive the intervention in Year 8). Children in the treatment group will begin the programme in Sept 2013; the autumn term of Year 7. All children will be tested directly before and after intervention for reading ability. After baseline testing, pupils will be randomised into the two groups in each school. Baseline testing will occur in September 2013 with follow-up in April 2014.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Overall reading ability as measured by the New Group Reading Test (NGRT). All pupils are tested using the NGRT at the beginning and end of the intervention, regardless of which study arm they have been allocated to. Baseline testing for this project will occur in September 2013, at the beginning of the new school year. The intervention will continue until the end of March, with post-testing occurring after the school Easter holidays (beginning of April).

Secondary outcome measures

1. Reading ability (NGRT subsection)
2. Reading comprehension (NGRT subsection)

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Year 7 pupils that were below National Curriculum level 4 in English and/or below level 4 in reading at the end of Key Stage 2, or pupils that are deemed to be ‘vulnerable’ Level 4 English achievers, as indicated by either SATs (National Curriculum tests) results or a test administered in July 2013.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Year 7 pupils with National Curriculum level 4 or above in English and reading
2. Parental opt-out

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

National Foundation for Educational Research
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

c/o Camilla Nevill
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7802 0640

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


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

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2015 results in

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes