Recent developments in literacy research

Over a series of projects for Booktrust - the national charity promoting books, reading and writing - we are building a set of important insights into the impact of book gifting. Most importantly, our work has demonstrated that book gifting schemes have a positive impact on helping parents and carers to bond with their child, that they encourage parents to read books as part of a daily routine and that they increase children's enjoyment of - and interest in - books.

But we found that the gifting process varied according to the mission of the gifting organisation - children's centre, health, library services - and was associated with differing outcomes. There have also been some indications of positive impacts on fathers reading with their children in a recent evaluation of the Bookstart scheme.

Furthermore, our evaluation of Booked Up suggested that book gifting schemes with secondary aged children can heighten engagement with or motivation for reading with similar findings emerging from the evaluation of Bookbuzz.

Our work on literacy continues - and soon the outcomes from two studies looking at supporting Reading for Pleasure across the primary-secondary school transition will be published by the Education Endowment Foundation. Watch this space...