Reading Recovery has given 70,000 children a fresh start and a better life since it was launched in England two decades ago, Baroness Shephard told an international audience of practitioners of the scheme at the Institute of Education (IOE) in July. The programme had, she said, helped children “who had made virtually no progress in the first five months, and turned them into fluent and enthusiastic readers”.
Reading Recovery, which was developed in New Zealand more than twenty years ago, is an intensive literacy programme providing one-to-one tuition for those who struggle the most with beginning to read. Baroness Shephard argued that the Reading Recovery method encourages teachers to form a deep understanding of the individual children in their charge. “You are face to face with the child…There is no hiding place for weak teaching”, she said.
Current Chair of Governors at the IOE, The Baroness was, as Gillian Shephard, part of the Government which supported the introduction of Reading Recovery in local authorities across the UK in 1991.