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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Stephen Gorard

Gorard, S, Siddiqui, N & See, B H (2015). Evaluation of the Accelerated Reader: an aggregated trial. Educational Endowment Foundation.
  • Publication type: Report

Author(s) from Durham


Accelerated Reader (AR) is an an internet-based reading programme called, which is widely used in UK schools and worldwide. AR is a whole-group reading management and monitoring programme that aims to stimulate the habit of independent reading among primary and secondary age pupils. This new evaluation involved 349 pupils in Year 7 who had not achieved secure National Curriculum Level 4 in their Key Stage 2 results for English, randomised to two groups. The intervention group of 166 pupils was exposed to AR for 20 weeks, after which they recorded higher literacy scores in the NGRT post-test than the control group of 183 pupils (‘effect’ size of +0.24). The schools led the organisation and implementation of the intervention, and also conducted most elements of the evaluation, with advice from an expert external evaluation team. The process evaluation suggests that these schools were very capable of conducting evaluations of their own practice, given appropriate guidance.