Research and impact

BookTrust’s work is driven by evidence.

We are working to have impact for disadvantaged children and families and children from vulnerable family backgrounds. All our work is driven by evidence: evidence on the benefits reading brings for children and families, evidence on the lives and needs of children and families, and evidence on the impact of our interventions. Use the links below to find out more about our wide programme of research, innovation and evaluation activities.

In this section

Baby Reading

Research and innovation

Explore research and reports across early years, primary, secondary and wider reading for pleasure. Find out what impact our programmes have on children and families.

Dad and boy reading


Understanding the impact of our interventions is central to BookTrust’s work. Find out more about the impact of our programmes and activities.

Explore our research briefings

Our research briefings use findings from our 2022 Family Survey - an online study of parents and carers of children aged 0–7 living in low-income households in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - to explore key themes surrounding reading in the early years.

Children's reading habits in the early years

This briefing provides an overview of BookTrust’s research of children’s early years reading habits across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The importance of multiple reading influencers

Our research finds that the more people in a child's life who are involved in influencing their reading, the more likely the child is to become a keen independent reader.

Supporting generational cycles of readers

Our recent research highlights the extent of the influence that parental reading enjoyment has on nurturing generational reading habits.

The benefits of reading

From babies to children in their early years and all the way through to early teens, reading brings profound and wide-ranging benefits that can have a lifelong positive impact on children’s lives.

BookTrust's Theory of Change diagramBookTrust's Theory of Change

Our Theory of Change describes how our work leads to the outcomes and impacts that we want to achieve – children from low-income and vulnerable backgrounds experiencing the wide-ranging benefits of reading, and every child reading regularly by choice.

Download the Theory of Change diagram (PDF)

Reading the room: An article about BookTrust's use of research first published in Impact Magazine by the Market Research Society

How we use research in our work

In this article - published in Impact Magazine by the Market Research Society - BookTrust's Director of Research and Impact Ruthann Hughes explains how research informs everything that BookTrust does. 

Download the article (PDF)

Reading Together

Reading Together, Changing Children's Lives is based on decades of experience of working with millions of families and thousands of local partners, including health visitors, nurseries, schools, libraries and food banks.

Discover our four proposals