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Reading Recovery

Learner-initiated supplementary supports

Please contact your education advisor with any questions about Reading Recovery for 2020. 

North Island schools Reading Recovery Application 2020:

Word 2007 icon. Reading Recovery Application 2020 (Word 2007, 95 KB)

Please download and save this form to your computer. Complete and return via email to BOTH YOUR local Ministry office enquiries, AND your local RR lead by Friday 18 October 2019.

South Island schools (Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago Southland) Reading Recovery Application 2020:

Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P6J8KMS and submit the form by Friday 18 October 2019.

Design elements

Target for support (strengths and needs)

Reading Recovery is delivered as a one-to-one intervention for learners who have the lowest literacy achievement levels for their cohort on their sixth birthday.

Teachers selected for training need to be experienced and successful in:

  • classroom teaching
  • teaching learners in the first three years at school
  • literacy teaching.

Expected outcomes

Reading Recovery has two major intended outcomes:

  • To accelerate learners’ reading and writing achievement to the average level of their peers, so that they can learn effectively in the classroom without further additional support.
  • To identify the small proportion of learners who need ongoing specialist literacy support. This enables learners requiring long-term support to be identified early in their schooling.

What data is used to support access decision?

All schools have access to some level of resourcing in order to support their lowest achievers. MOE funding is distributed on a formula taking into account decile ranking, achievement levels, and roll size.

The Ministry of Education provides staffing (271 FTTEs) to support delivery of Reading Recovery. The amount each region and school receives is decided following a formula that includes six year old population, decile rating, equity index, learner need, and roll size.

Delivery design (who, how long)

Learners are selected by their school as the lowest achievers in literacy on or as close to their sixth birthday as possible. During a learner’s Reading Recovery series of lessons, they receive daily, individual instruction of 30 minutes from a trained Reading Recovery teacher. The intervention is discontinued when the teacher judges that the learner is achieving in literacy at an average level for Year 2, that is, can take full advantage of the classroom programme without additional support (usually 10 to 20 weeks). Reading Recovery is not designed to provide long term support and a learner may be referred from Reading Recovery when the teacher and the Reading Recovery school team, in consultation with the Tutor, all determine that long term specialist literacy support is the most appropriate option for the learner.

Reading Recovery Teachers are employed by individual schools and undertake a one-year training course consisting of fortnightly training sessions of approximately two and a half hours each. During the training the teacher must deliver Reading Recovery instruction to a minimum of four learners daily. Classroom teachers already on the staff of the school are the preferred candidates for training to ensure that ownership of the teacher’s learning remains with the school and to ease the sharing of information and consistency of practice and expectations between Reading Recovery and the class programme. Teachers who have completed their training are expected to attend six sessions of on-going professional support each year and work with the Reading Recovery Tutors throughout their time teaching Reading Recovery.

Reading Recovery Tutors train full time for one year with practical and academic components. The training course is delivered by the National Reading Recovery Trainer Team, administered through the University of Auckland. The National Reading Recovery Team is also responsible for ongoing contact and professional development of the Tutors. Tutors are employed by Universities.

How will the support contribute to classroom practice (tier 1) and school capability?

Reading Recovery teachers receive an in-depth training in assessment, observation and teaching for literacy learning in the literacy acquisition stage. Where these teachers are also classroom teachers in the school this knowledge has a significant impact on their wider classroom teaching. Effective communication between Reading Recovery teachers and classroom teachers fosters the spread of understanding about meeting the needs of young literacy learners across the school.

When schools fully implement Reading Recovery (ie ‘Reading Recovery is part of the way we do things round here’) classroom teachers at all levels of the school are better able to meet the needs of learners at appropriate levels.

How will the support contribute to building educationally powerful relationships with parents, whānau/family, hapu, iwi, and community?

An effective home-school partnership established at the beginning of a learner's schooling can have positive, long-term impacts on family/whānau-school relationships.

Integration of Reading Recovery into the literacy approach of schools includes the continuation of of effective, learning-focused, home-school engagement from the time a learner enters the intervention (at six years of age). 

The model

Reading Recovery Tutors work with training groups of approximately 8-12 teachers. In subsequent years groups of trained teachers may be approximately 15 in size. 

Teachers must work with a minimum of four learners at any one time throughout their year of training. In subsequent years the number of learners is determined by each school.

How is support monitored and measured in terms of outcomes?

In the year of Reading Recovery teacher training:

Each teacher keeps detailed records of learner progress through lesson records, writing vocabulary charts and daily Running Records and weekly graphs of the learner’s text level progress. The Observation Survey (Clay, 2019) is used as an identification tool for designing an individual series of lessons, and as the final check at the end of the learners’ series of lessons. This is recorded by each school and monitored by the Reading Recovery Tutors. 

Each teacher updates graphs of text level progress at each fortnightly training session for monitoring by the Reading Recovery Tutors.

National Reading Recovery collects the achievement details of all learners taught by a teacher in training.

All schools:

  • Schools complete an electronic data entry of the progress, achievement and final outcome annually for each of their Reading Recovery learners for the Ministry of Education which publishes an annual report. Tutors will provide support to do this.
  • Teachers maintain an on-going progress and achievement graph at each of the sessions they attend and this is monitored by the Reading Recovery Tutors.

What needs to be sustained?

  • An immediate, effective, and responsive early intervention for learners struggling to establish effective literacy processes.
  • Highly intensive, effective training and support for Reading Recovery teachers.
  • A nationally led Reading Recovery approach that ensures consistently high quality practice and implementation across the country.
  • On going monitoring of successfully discontinued students with immediate intervention should that be needed.

Roles and responsibilities for the support

What are the conditions for successful delivery?


National Reading Recovery will ensure that Reading Recovery Tutors are knowledgeable and experienced. The Reading Recovery Tutors provide for consistency of practice and ongoing support and training for teachers.


Schools need to ensure that:

  • there is highly effective classroom and school wide literacy teaching supported by a range of integrated interventions, of which Reading Recovery is a key component
  • experienced, knowledgeable teachers with proven success teaching at a junior level are selected for Reading Recovery training
  • they supplement MOE funding sufficiently to allow full implementation within their school (all learners who need Reading Recovery receive it)
  • they select the lowest achievers on or as close as possible to their sixth birthday, regardless of perceived potential, absences, ethnicity or other factors
  • they address all additional issues through effective school systems such as, vision and hearing checking, absences
  • Reading Recovery principles are upheld: daily half hour individual instruction, teachers attending all training and support sessions
  • they sustain the monitoring of the learners’ ongoing literacy progress after the student is successfully discontinued.


The MoE will:

  • support schools through the allocation of teacher resource to facilitate full implementation
  • administer the allocation of centrally funded FTEs
  • work with universities to facilitate and strengthen the work of National Reading Recovery and Reading Recovery Tutors
  • work with the University of Auckland and National Reading Recovery to select high quality candidates for tutor training
  • support Reading Recovery to ensure that the trademarked Reading Recovery Guidelines are adhered to.

Updated on: 23 Sep 2019

System of support

Identifying learning needs. Resource selector. Impact of changed practices. Designing learning for school context. Integrated system of support for students. Achievement information triggers response.