Inclusive literacy teaching: raising attainment and equity by empowering educators and broadening the evidence they use

Sue Ellis, Adele Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the development and use of a tool designed to support educators to use a broad range of professional knowledge for inclusion and equity in literacy teaching. The tool encourages teachers to formally recognize, and act on a wider range of evidence about students and to adapt their literacy curriculum and teaching appropriately. The research adopted a Design Experiment approach in 48 schools, working with 650 teachers and 12,783 students. A paired sample T-test showed a significant improvement in standardized age scores. Further analysis indicated that the ‘tail’ of underachievement had shortened and Goodman and Kruskal's gamma showed a weakening of the relationship between poverty and attainment. This gives cause for cautious optimism that attainment gaps may be addressed by supporting educators to re-think how they address inclusion and attend to a wider range of evidence in literacy teaching. It suggests that local, bottom-up curriculum development may be more effective for inclusion than centralized top-down approaches, and that education research could develop and trial tools that support teachers in this.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Jan 2020


  • urban education
  • attainment gap
  • literacy curriculum
  • social justice
  • professional development
  • inclusion
  • equity

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