Making a

with white, British free
school meal students
at Manchester Academy

As part of their drive to boost literacy standards, Manchester Academy had been looking for activities to encourage students to read more.

70% of students at Manchester Academy have English as an Additional Language

so it is no small challenge for the academy to supply relevant, inspiring content for a wide range of reading levels.

RM Books was the perfect solution to meet the needs of all their students and since introducing the ebook solution in September 2013, the academy has seen immediate results.

See the full results >>


Over a five month pilot:

  • On average students made 9 months 23 days of progress, with every student making progress
  • 1 in 3 students made at least 1 year of progress
  • 2 of 24 students made 2 years of progress - both catching and passing their chronological age


Replicate Manchester Academy’s fantastic results for your own students by first understanding their simple recipe:

5 easy steps to engage reluctant readers >>

Over 5 months the results have been astounding!
Rob Chisnall, Assistant Headteacher

To pilot RM Books, the academy decided to focus on a small group of students, specifically white, British, free school meal students. Many of these students come from homes where their families are not in education, employment or training and learning is not always a priority in the home – historically an underperforming group and a minority group at the academy due to the number of EAL students.

One of the main attractions for introducing RM Books was the accessibility of the product; students could get access from home, from school and in different classrooms.

RM Books with their e-reading approach, has enabled students to make rapid levels of progress
Dr Antony Edkins
Section two

Immediate success

Rob Chisnall, Assistant Headteacher has experienced immediate success through introducing RM Books to his Year 9 students. One boy in the group was two years behind his chronological reading age at the start of the year. Since using RM Books he’s not only met his chronological reading age expectancy, but gone past his expected level. 

That’s primarily through access to RM Books
Rob Chisnall, Assistant Headteacher

Reluctant Readers

As Literacy Co-ordinator Caithy Martin has struggled to engage students in reading - some students had not even accessed the library. It’s with these students that Caithy is now noticing a real difference, as they are now reading three or four books a week. She believes this is down to the mode of delivery with some students even reading on their games consoles when they get home.

They just like anything gadget-based
Caithy Martin, Literacy Co-ordinator

Enjoyment and love of reading

The change at the academy has been incredible, they are seeing real enjoyment and a love of reading, especially with some of the hard to reach – historically under performing groups – that are now performing as expected or better than expected.

The percentage of students making progress as expected or better than expected are 10% above the national average in English. But it’s not the statistics which are as important as what it means for the students.
Dr Antony Edkins

Five months later...

All students on the scheme made progress and closed the gap between themselves and other students in school. In one case, outstanding progress was made by a male student who made 25 months progress in his reading age between November ‘13 and March ’14. Another male student made 16 months progress, as did a female student who could only access the reading whilst in school. There are 5 boys who have caught up with and surpassed their chronological reading age.

See the full results here >>

Students have been less inhibited by the preconceptions they had of being seen in a library and are more comfortable with the idea of actively pursuing opportunities to read. Boys in particular were concerned about being conspicuously seen to be reading, as were some girls. However, all students involved have now asked that the sessions be extended past the initial planned period and have been involved in presenting the ebook platform to the next target group, Black Caribbean males.