Intervention details

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No impact for Secondary reading

Intervention description

TextNow is a one-to-one reading programme for reluctant and struggling readers aged 11-19. Participating students take part in daily 20-minute reading sessions with volunteer reading coaches over a period of 10 weeks, and also spend 20 minutes per day reading in their own time.

The programme aims to increase students' motivation by making reading accessible and enjoyable - it allows them to choose what they read from an online bookstore, and rewards progress with credits enabling them to choose their own books to keep.

Downloadable resources are available to help schools deliver the programme, and performance reports are also provided. As well as schools, other organisations may be able to deliver TextNow, for instance for young people in public care.

Staffing requirements

TextNow is overseen by an in-school co-ordinator, who also undertakes online training.

Professional development/training

The coaches are given online training beforehand, and could be teaching assistants, non-teaching staff or peer tutors (such as sixth form students).

Evidence Summary

The Education Endowment Foundation recently ran a project investigating the effectiveness of TextNow, which did not show it to be effective.

The study found a mean effect size of -0.06 for secondary reading.

No impact for Secondary reading
No. of studies 1
No. of students 0
Average effect size +99.99

Key research

On average, pupils participating in the programme made less progress than those who did not. The size of the difference was small.

The intervention appeared to have a different impact on pupils eligible for and claiming free school meals compared to their peers. To look at this difference more closely, additional, separate analyses were conducted on pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers. This revealed a positive effect for pupils eligible for free school meals.

Key stages

  • Key Stage 3
  • Key Stage 4
  • Post 16

Targeted groups

  • Struggling readers


£75 per student

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