Children who do not read at the expected level at every point in their education are unable to fully access the curriculum and will be disadvantaged in formal tests and exams. In contrast, those who read fluently and have a wide vocabulary will have significantly improved chances of economic and social success.

It is crucial therefore that children who are not making good reading progress are identified as early as possible – and given the learning gaps that may have developed by September, speedy identification will be even more important.

All schools have a range of formative reading assessment, evaluation and feedback procedures in place. Often these take the form of time-consuming paper-based tests backed up by enormously valuable teacher observations.

But it is always going to be a challenged to accurately assess every child’s needs and implement a targeted intervention given that the range of reasons for lack of reading progress are varied and individual.

This is where AI based assessment methods using accurate eye tracking technology can complement teacher expertise.

Eye tracking can accurately identify pupils who:

  • require support for dyslexia
  • struggle with their reading fluency and speed
  • find it difficult to track text with their eyes
  • have undiagnosed eyesight problems
  • use coping strategies to hide reading problems
  • have mild learning needs that may otherwise go unnoticed

By identifying any barrier to the development of reading skills, be that in accuracy, comprehension or speed, this kind of technology enables teachers to apply the most valuable interventions for each child and then with regular reliable testing, monitor progress and adapt support to match individual needs.

Sally Harrison

Sally Harrison

Sally is the School Library Service manager for Juniper Education. She has worked in primary school and public libraries for 17 years and as a children’s book reviewer. She is a chartered librarian, a member of the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians and has been a board member of the School Library Association.