Intervention details

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Catch Up Literacy

Moderate for Secondary reading
UK Evaluated in the UK

Intervention description

Catch Up Literacy is a structured one-to-one reading intervention for struggling readers between the ages of 6 and 14. Sessions are based around an appropriately levelled text and involve prepared reading, discussion of the text and linked writing activities. The intervention matches books to pupils according to their reading ability, which pupils then read to a teaching assistant, so is intended to also support the development of their comprehension skills.

The intervention also includes a bank of assessments which can be used to monitor progress, set targets and identify the needs of individual pupils.

Staffing requirements

15-minute sessions delivered twice weekly by teachers, teaching assistants or mentors. A coordinator for each school.

Professional development/training

A complete training and support package for each intervention, centred on 3 half-day training sessions for the staff who will deliver the intervention. A minimum of 2 staff are trained in addition to the coordinator, to increase flexibility.


The intervention is book based. The progress tracking tools are purpose-designed Excel templates.

Evidence Summary

The Education Endowment Foundation ran a project in 2013/2014 investigating the effectiveness of Catch Up Literacy, which found that it had a positive impact on reading for pupils making the transition from primary to secondary school, with an effect size of +0.12.

Moderate for Secondary reading
No. of studies 1
No. of students 557
Average effect size +0.12

Key research

The Education Endowment Foundation is now running a further project testing the intervention in more schools, the results should be available at the end of 2018.

Key stages

  • Key Stage 1
  • Key Stage 2
  • Key Stage 3

Targeted groups

  • Struggling readers


£395 per trainee, per intervention. Bundles available

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