PBE assesses the economic impact of Reading Recovery for the KPMG Foundation

5 Dec 2018

Every Child a Reader is an initiative developed by the KPMG Foundation, to expand the provision of Reading Recovery in the UK. A well-researched and widely-implemented early intervention programme, Reading Recovery exists to help the lowest attaining children aged five to six learn to read. Along with the KPMG Foundation, Every Child a Reader's funding partners were the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Man Group Plc Charitable Trust, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, SHINE, the Indigo Trust, the JJ Charitable Trust and the Mercers’ Company. Over 100,000 children in England have benefited from Reading Recovery support since 2005, including over 4,400 children in 531 schools in the 2016/17 school year. 

The KPMG Foundation approached Pro Bono Economics to assess the economic impact of the Reading Recovery programme from 2005/6 to 2016/17, building on recent research by Professor Jane Hurry of the UCL Institute of Education. This uses data from a ten-year study, tracking the progress of a group of 84 children in London schools who received support in 2005/6. The benefits seen in these children included improved results in Key Stage 4 GCSE examinations and lower likelihood of special educational needs support compared with a group of children in schools not providing Reading Recovery. Specifically, Reading Recovery increased the likelihood of a child attaining five or more good GCSEs by up to 26%, and reduced the proportion of children requiring a SEN statement/EHCP by 7%.

Using the findings from this study, we are able to quanitfy the potential economic benefits of the programme to UK society as between £940 million and £1.2 billion, or up to £12,100 per child receiving support against costs of £2800. In other words, each £1 spent on the programme could result in potential societal benefits of between £3.30 and £4.30.

The report is available to download below.