Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
17/06/2016
Date assigned
17/06/2016
Last edited
17/06/2016
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
According to the National Curriculum Assessment (2015) about 20 percent of pupils leave primary schools without achieving the expected attainment level in reading. Read Write Inc. Phonics and Fresh Start are phonics-based comprehensive literacy programmes rooted in phonics using decodable texts to teach children learning to read and write and those who need to catch up quickly. The study aims to determine whether the programmes are effective at increasing pupil reading outcomes.

Who can participate?
Read Write Inc. Phonics: male and female children from Reception to Year 4 learning to read; however, the evaluation will focus on pupils from Reception – Year 2 only.
Fresh Start: male and female pupils in Years 5 – 8 below appropriate reading age; however, the evaluation will focus on eligible pupils from Years 5 and 6 only.

What does the study involve?
Participating schools are randomly allocated to the waiting list group or the intervention group. Staff in the waiting list schools continue ‘business-as-usual’ for the teaching of phonics, reading and writing for 2 years. Staff in the intervention group schools receive two days training, including knowledge of the alphabetic code and training on how to teach both programmes. The children are assessed to ensure that they are taught at the correct level and that the slowest progress children receive daily tutoring. A consultant trainer works with the leaders in school to ensure successful implementation and provide continuing professional development. Children are taught daily in homogeneous groups: phonic lessons for reading and spelling; reading activities – from decoding to comprehension; spelling and compositional writing; and children work with a partner and articulate their thinking throughout the lesson. Read Write Inc. Phonics starts with 20 minutes daily in term 1 of Reception, building to 40 minutes by the end of the year, and one hour a day for children in Year 1 and above. Many children complete the programme by the end of Year 1 or the beginning of Year 2. Fresh Start lasts for up to 33 weeks for eligible pupils in Years 5 and 6 in place of regular English lessons. Slower progress children are identified immediately and given daily one-to-to tuition to ensure they keep up with their peers.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Teachers receiving the training may benefit from becoming more capable of teaching phonics to their pupils. Pupils may benefit from improved reading outcomes. There are no notable risks involved with taking part in this study.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run from Queens University, Belfast and takes place in around 120 primary schools (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
December 2015 to September 2018

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

Who is the main contact?
1. Dr Nisha Rai
2. Dr Pooja Nakamura

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Public

Primary contact

Dr Nisha Rai

ORCID ID

Contact details

American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington
DC
20007
United States of America

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Dr Pooja Nakamura

ORCID ID

Contact details

American Institutes for Research
1000 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington
DC
20007
United States of America

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

Scientific title

Clustered-randomized control trial of Read Write Inc. Phonics (using New Group Reading Test collected at end of second year for pupils from Reception – Year 2) and Fresh Start (using KS2 reading fine points score for eligible pupils from Years 5 and 6) Programmes

Acronym

Study hypothesis

Read Write Inc. Phonics and Fresh Start will improve pupil reading outcomes.

Ethics approval

American Institutes for Research Institutional Review Board 12/05/2016

Study design

Cluster randomised controlled 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 contact details to request a participant information sheet

Condition

Reading outcomes

Intervention

Staff in treatment schools attend two days training in primary schools including knowledge of the alphabetic code and training on how to teach both programmes. Assessment processes to ensure children are taught at the correct level and that slowest progress children receive daily tutoring. Ongoing, regular development days – a consultant trainer works with the leaders in school to ensure successful implementation and provide continuing professional development.

After training, children are taught daily in homogeneous groups:
1. Phonic lessons for reading and spelling
2. Reading activities – from decoding to comprehension
3. Spelling and compositional writing
4. Children work with a partner and articulate their thinking throughout the lesson

Teachers in the two-year wait-list control will continue ‘business-as-usual’ for the teaching of phonics, reading and writing.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. Read Write Inc. Phonics: New Group Reading Test at the end of the second year (independently collected by Queens University Belfast)
2. Fresh Start: KS2 reading fine points score for Year 6 eligible students at the end of the first year of programme implementation and Year 5 eligible students at the end of the second year of programme implementation (i.e., the end of Year 6 for students who began programme in Year 5)

Secondary outcome measures

1. Read Write Inc. Phonics: teacher assessed KS1 writing at Year 2 and the teacher assessed Year 1 phonics screening check for both years of the programme aggregated
2. Fresh Start: combined KS2 writing results for Years 5 and 6

Overall trial start date

02/12/2015

Overall trial end date

30/09/2018

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

Schools: All schools are eligible, but the mean FSMEver of the sample should be greater than the national mean for England. The schools must be state funded, and a large (but no more than 50%) share of schools must come from the North East region of the UK.

Pupils: While Read Write Inc. Phonics is delivered to all children in Reception and Year 1 and those who are assessed as needing it in Years 2 – 4, the evaluation will focus on pupils from Reception – Year 2 only. While Fresh Start targets eligible pupils in Years 5 – 8 who are below appropriate reading age, the evaluation will focus on eligible pupils from Years 5 and 6 only. The eligibility criteria for the Fresh Start programme is a school progress measure, through which the children are selected according to their reading levels. Children reading below a reading age of 9.5 years are taught Fresh Start.

Participant type

Other

Age group

Child

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

Read Write Inc. Phonics: 4,400 Year 2 pupils from 120 schools; Fresh Start: 1,200 Year 5-6 pupils from 120 schools

Participant exclusion criteria

Schools: non-stated funded schools

Pupils: Fresh Start: Children reading above a reading age of 9.5 years

Recruitment start date

01/04/2016

Recruitment end date

31/08/2016

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Queen's University Belfast
69/71 University Street
Belfast
BT7 1HL
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Sponsor details

9th Floor
Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 802 1676
info@eefoundation.org.uk

Sponsor type

Charity

Website

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk

Funders

Funder type

Charity

Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

The final report will be distributed by the Education Endowment Foundation and made available on their website.

Intention to publish date

31/12/2018

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes