Research and impact

BookTrust’s work is driven by evidence.

Our research gives us unique insights into the lives of the families we work with and what works to build the reading habits that bring immediate and lifelong benefits to the children who need it most. Use the links below to explore the research, innovation and evaluation activities that inform our evidence-based behaviour change programmes. 

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


Read our impact report and find out how we are working in every community in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to get families reading.

Explore our research briefings

Our research briefings provide new insights into what drives children and families reading behaviours and the wide ranging benefits reading can bring.

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.

Why starting shared reading early matters and Bookstart Baby

Our research into the importance of shared reading at an early age for children and how Bookstart Baby can support this.

BookTrust's Theory of Change

Our theory of change explains how our support and resources are delivered through our extensive network of partners to get children and families reading. Bringing the immediate and lifelong benefits of reading to the children who need them most.

Download our Theory of Change (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