Our Core Belief

Our Vision

  • All children in Scotland have equal access to books, reading for pleasure, learning, and literacy.
  • Children in are taught to read using the most effective, research-informed methods—specifically systematic synthetic phonics, beginning in Primary 1.
  • Regardless of background, circumstances or difficulties, children receive appropriate help and support to enable them to become fully literate.
  • Teachers are trained and fully-informed about the science of reading through national guidance, support, and professional learning.

We believe:

  • There is time for play and learning in every school day. Learning to read is the most significant milestone in a child’s learning journey.
  • The teaching of reading should never be deliberately withheld; every child deserves the opportunity to enter fully into the world of books and reading for pleasure in Primary 1.
  • There is no greater joy, or educational advantage, than becoming an independent reader. To deny a child’s right to read is socially unjust and disadvantages our most vulnerable learners.

Why Do We Need A Campaign?

Right to Read was established by teachers and parents in 2022 to campaign for children in Scotland and their right to be taught to read.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) cover 54 articles. They include the right to education, and they specify that the best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.

While most schools in Scotland consider themselves ‘Rights Respecting’ schools and teach children about the UNCRC, we believe that a failure to ensure that the teaching of reading is fully in line with research findings—whether for beginning readers or struggling/dyslexic readers—violates these rights.

Far too often, reading failure or literacy struggles are blamed on the child, or the parents, without examining the crucial role of instruction and intervention.

Reading Should Not Be Left To Chance

Despite being the home of the world-renowned Clackmannanshire research, the teaching of reading and spelling is still left to chance in Scotland.

Most children do not receive systematic synthetic phonics and most programmes adopted by schools in Scotland do not align with current international research.

Teachers in Scotland are not routinely trained in research-informed reading instruction, despite a petition being lodged with the Scottish Government in 2017.

While our work is informed by and connected to the Reading Reform Foundation UK and IFERI (International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction), Scotland’s current educational challenges require a context-specific response.

The Reading Reform Foundation UK
International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction

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