Book publication announcement

Closing the Reading Gap

This highly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling and hugely influential book, Closing the Vocabulary Gap, offers new and essential insight into creating confident readers in the classroom and equipping children with the skills that will shape success at school and beyond.

Although the ability to read fluently has been long accepted as one of the most essential building blocks in education, many children are still slipping behind while teachers struggle to support and nurture those whose barriers to reading go undefined. Recently GL Assessment released research that showed a quarter of all 15-year-olds only have a reading age of only 12. It has never been more important to take the rapidly widening reading gap seriously and to look at how it can be addressed.

Drawing upon his 15 years of experience as an English teacher and school leader, Alex Quigley brings together his classroom experience along with a wealth of research evidence to best inform effective classroom strategies. Drawing upon the wider economic and social factors that impact on reading ability, this accessible but rigorously researched book explores:

  • The crucial goal of reading comprehesion, which draws upon a complex array of knowlege and skills that is not well-known by many teachers.In a school system laden with exam-orientated pressures, sustained reading practice can be stunted and for many students, barriers to reading go undiagnosed.
  • It is estimated that a ‘hidden’ 10% of students in primary school can go undetected as ‘poor comprehenders’, and this group are at risk of developing a damaging gap in their reading skills as they reach secondary school if not offered targeted support. What can teachers do to recognise to support struggling students?
  • How whole-school reading, teachers as reading role-models, better comprehension of reading barriers, motivation monitoring, parental engagement and daily reading habits can serve as practical ways to close the reading gap.

Vital reading for primary and secondary school teachers, parents, education management and policy-makers alike, this timely book aims to help tackle a nation-wide problem and to give educators the tools they need to make a difference in the classroom.

About the author

Alex Quigley is a former English teacher and school leader, of over 15 years’ standing, who now works for the Education Endowment Foundation, supporting teachers to access research evidence. He has worked with primary and secondary schools around the UK and is a highly influential voice in the media on best practice in education.  He can be found on Twitter @HuntingEnglish and blogs at His previous books include Closing the Vocabulary Gap and The Confident Teacher.


Closing the Reading Gap is published by Routledge and is available from: 

For interviews, review copies and other publicity requests, please contact:
Tom Eden, Associate Marketing Manager