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
The Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme (VEIP) was created by Victoria Joffe, an academic at City University London. The programme has two aims: to teach children new words and to encourage them to use these words in speaking and writing. Bolton Council have modified this programme by adding elements of the phonics programme “Sounds-Write”, and the literacy resources of the “Literacy Plus” programme. This 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 this 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 February 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?
This study is run in 12 secondary schools in the Bolton area, UK.

When is study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study began in December 2012, with the final report due in May 2014.
Who is funding the study?
It is being 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 Bolton Council’s modified Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme for 11 to 12-year-olds considered to be vulnerable Level 4 English achievers



Study hypothesis

The primary research question is: what is the impact of Bolton Council’s modified Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Programme on reading ability?
The secondary research question is: are improvements in attainment moderated by National Curriculum reading level or whether a pupil receives the pupil premium? 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 540 children will be randomly assigned to one of two groups:
1. VEIP+LP (Literary Plus)+BD+SW (Sounds Write) (referred to subsequently as ‘FP’ i.e. Full Programme)
2. ‘Business-as-usual’, control (referred to subsequently as ‘control’)
Some Bolton secondary schools split each year group into two or more groups for timetabling reasons. It is therefore not possible to randomise across the whole year group and succeed in running the trial. For these schools, trial-eligible pupils will be identified from primary school data. Schools will allocate these (non-randomly) to timetable bands along with the rest of their students. Randomisation of eligible pupils will then occur within each band. Baseline testing will occur in September 2013 with follow-up in February 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 post-test in February 2014.

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 who were achieving at Level 3, 4c (possibly 4b depending on numbers) in reading at the end of Key Stage 2, as indicated by Key to Success data.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

540 minimum

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Year 7 pupils with National Curriculum level 4b or above in reading at the end of Key Stage 2
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

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes