Stage of Research: Fundamental Research Team Members: 3
Communication Language Reading

Secondary School Assessment of Reading Comprehension

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Reading is one of the strongest predictors of academic success and later life opportunities. Whilst poor reading skills are a major barrier to learning at any age, this is especially true for children entering secondary school where they are required to read more complex texts to inform their learning.

It is likely that the pandemic will have disproportionately affected poor readers, given the prevalence of reading in online learning. The gap between struggling and more proficient readers may have widened during the UK’s successive lockdowns as a result.

Many schools already use standardised tests to assess reading comprehension. As a first step towards better identifying and supporting poor readers across the city, it is important to know what assessment information is already available to schools, and what schools currently do with that information (e.g., determine pupils’ reading age).

Our team are currently conducting a 3-minute survey of reading assessment practices across Bradford secondary schools. Questions ask about the methods schools use to assess pupils’ reading ability, how decisions are made of who is assessed, the frequency of assessment, and how the output of the measures are used.

  • To record current practice across the city and share that (anonymous) information with schools
  • To provide targeted information enabling schools to use more effectively the reading assessment data they already collect (both in the wake of the pandemic and beyond)
  • To inform the creation of a complementary test to identify the source of difficulties experienced by poor readers
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Fundamental Research

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Collect data and evidence

Fundamental Research

Discovery and Design


Trials and Assessment


Large Randomised Controlled Trial


Regional Rollout


Evidence-based Policy

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