Evaluation of the National Literacy Project

Chris Whetton, Marian Sainsbury, Ian Schagen, Mary Minnis, Neil Hagues

01 December 1998

This is the full technical report of the evaluation of the National Literacy Project, conducted by NFER, under contract to the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). The report details the findings for the first cohort of schools, around 250 in number, which participated in the National Literacy Project from 1996 to 1998.

The report describes the implementation of the project, drawing on evidence from local consultants and from participating headteachers. It presents an analysis of test results from a sample of around 21,000 children in participating schools, indicating the progress they made in the course of the project and relating the results to background factors. Other chapters address the pupils' attitudes to reading, and their specific reading and writing skills.

A National Literacy Strategy was introduced in all schools from the autumn of 1998. This is very similar in its objectives and structure to the National Literacy Project, and the schools in this evaluation provide a valuable model for all those implementing the strategy.

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