LONDON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Whilst the 'English at the Crossroads' Ofsted report blames no better than satisfactory standards of English teaching for the slow rate of improvement in primary and secondary schools, it fails to acknowledge the significant success achieved by the many using Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader program.

More than 74,000 schools across the world continue to improve their standards of literacy in a way that is cost-effective, simple to administer and provides personalised learning for pupils of all abilities. Furthermore, the program has proved particularly effective in motivating reluctant readers - especially boys - and encouraging reading for pleasure.

Offering continuous, high-quality assessment, Accelerated Reader focuses not only on comprehension quizzes of the UK's 14,000 most popular books, but also on vocabulary practice and higher order thinking skills. An in-depth study published by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust this year identified pupils increasing their reading age by over three years after using the program for just six months.

The improvements many UK schools have made have not gone unnoticed as three of the 12 secondary schools highlighted as outstanding in a recent Ofsted report - such as Bartley Green in Birmingham - use the program. Since starting Accelerated Reader two years ago we have really noticed a difference in our pupils reading, commented Jayne Croshaw, Librarian at the school.

Equally effective with younger pupils, Accelerated Reader has also been key to the success of Mile Oak Primary, which was named 'Reading Connects primary school of the year' for 2007/08 and shortlisted for the 'Outstanding Literacy Initiative' TES award for 2009. One member of staff, who has been teaching for over 35 years, referred to it as the most effective tool for encouraging reading that they had ever seen.

Dirk Foch, Managing Director, Renaissance Learning UK Ltd, comments:

Although important, reports such as this can be very de-motivating for teachers who often come under fire for not doing enough to raise standards. However, programs such as Accelerated Reader - can make a significant difference to standards of literacy at both primary and secondary level for as little as GBP5 per child. At Renaissance Learning, we believe that every child should be able to read, and enjoy doing so both in and out of the classroom, which is why in addition to our literacy programs we started the 'Watch Them Grow' campaign ( and recently launched the 'Quest for Knowledge' - which features monthly 'missions' set by best-selling authors, such as GP Taylor and Chris Bradford. We are also delighted to confirm that current and former Children's Laureates Anthony Browne and Jacqueline Wilson will be appearing at our National Conference to be held in Stratford-upon-Avon on 18th-19th March next year.

About Renaissance Learning UK Limited

Renaissance Learning UK Limited is a subsidiary of Renaissance Learning Inc, a company founded in Wisconsin (USA) in 1986. Renaissance Learning UK Ltd is a leading provider of educational solutions to primary and secondary schools across the United Kingdom.

Adopted by more than 74,000 schools worldwide and used by over 250,000 children in the UK everyday, Renaissance Learning produces software that provides teachers and pupils with immediate access to information on academic performance. The Accelerated Reader Advantage and Accelerated Maths Advantage programs provide timely and reliable feedback that enhances individualised instruction, creating a better learning environment for more motivated pupils.

Renaissance works closely with the National Literacy Trust, the National Education Trust and Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, and is supported by best-selling authors for children, such as Malorie Blackman, Peter J Murray and GP Taylor.

For further press enquiries, please contact Gareth Andrews, Tel: +44(0)20-7184-4074, email, or Nicki Walker, Tel: +44(0)20-7184-4071, email, website:

For further press enquiries, please contact Gareth Andrews, Tel: +44(0)20-7184-4074, email, or Nicki Walker, Tel: +44(0)20-7184-4071, email