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OU Reading for Pleasure Celebrates Fifth Anniversary!

In 2017, The Open University Reading for Pleasure (RfP) website was launched to share the findings of the ground-breaking Teachers as Readers research, led by Professor Teresa Cremin.

The aim was to enable more young people to become childhood readers, thus reaping the associated academic, social and emotional benefits and advancing social justice.

An Advisory Group of teachers and UK Literacy Association (UKLA) consultants helped shape the evidence-informed site, which offers research, pedagogy and resources to enrich the profession’s RfP knowledge, understanding and practice.

“Finding ways to engage students in reading may be one of the most effective ways to leverage social change. (OECD, 2021)”


Community Coalition Growth

In the five years since the OU Reading for Pleasure community coalition has been established, the work has involved a vast audience of teachers, student teachers, librarians, teaching assistants and literacy coordinators, through numerous social justice-driven projects and initiatives.

Over 600 teachers have published their research-informed RfP work as Examples of Practice on the site. These showcase their impact on children as readers and allow other practitioners to read about and benefit from their newly informed experience.

“It’s estimated that our OU/ UKLA Teachers’ Reading Groups have influenced the reading lives of over 180,000 children*!”

There have been well over 300 OU/UKLA Teacher Reading Groups (year-long CPD sessions informed by the RfP research) which have attracted approximately 7,000 members who have gone on to improve pupils’ reading for pleasure in their schools.*In addition, the team have worked with 34 Higher Education Institutional Partners to support student teachers as readers and future educators The OU Reading for Pleasure community has flourished, and currently has an impressive 23,000+ Twitter followers and 44,000+ newsletter subscribers.

(Click to read more RfP in numbers!)


In partnership with The Reading Agency, The Open University set up the Teachers’ Reading Challenge, to expand teachers’ repertoires of children’s texts and equip them with knowledge and skill to confidently promote choice-led reading and participate as fellow readers.  In just two years, over 5,000 people signed up for the challenge.

The Open University has also successfully collaborated with Farshore and UKLA to co-found the annual Reading for Pleasure Awards. The awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate teachers, reading champions and schools whose practices make a real difference to children’s  recreational reading. Each year case studies are submitted to the RfP website and judges, including Professor Teresa Cremin, award prizes for outstanding entries across several categories.


Launch of free OU RfP course

In January 2022, the official OU Reading for Pleasure Badged Online Course was launched and received over 2,000 sign ups in two months. It was designed to to widen understanding of how reading for pleasure, changes children’s life chances and enable participants  to develop the knowledge and strategies needed to promote reader engagement across schools, homes and communities.


Happy fifth birthday!

Prof Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education at The Open University, says “It is an honour to be part of such a successful community coalition and to have worked with many passionate expert educators.

We are delighted to be celebrating this milestone and attribute our growth to the value the coalition brings to so many.

We want to thank everyone who has been involved with OU RfP over the first five years; both practice and research continue to be enriched.”

A very happy fifth birthday to OU RfP!


*Based on average primary classroom size 20/21 (

Data from Reading for Pleasure website and internal records – April 2022

In other news

OU RfP Newsletter LIVE! 26th April

We are delighted to have hosted another successful OU RfP Newsletter Live, a rapid-fire virtual event dedicated to the latest in Reading for Pleasure. With