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Game Changers

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What is Game Changers?

Updated with a new look for 2024, Game Changers is a 20-session reading programme specifically designed for excluded students or those at risk of exclusion.

The programme uses relatable texts, highly-scaffolded resources and (optional) football activities to motivate and equip young people to read.

Buy Game Changers now.

Game Changers contents

The full intervention package includes:

  • Bespoke resources for excluded students

    Participants read the stories of role models with lived experience of school exclusion: including famous sportspeople, musicians and young people like themselves.

  • Books to keep

    Schools receive 10, carefully chosen, books for participants to keep at the end of the programme.

  • Optional football activities

    Engaging video tutorials teach students freestyle football skills - as a further engagement tool.

  • Highly-scaffolded materials

    Printed, 60-page workbooks split texts into manageable chunks, and include a variety of engaging activities. Game Changers is designed to require minimal teacher preparation.

Does Game Changers work?

Over a two-year evaluation period, we have delivered Game Changers in over 150 settings across the UK - reaching more than 1200 excluded young people. Almost all teachers (94%) say they would recommend Game Changers to other schools.

In terms of reading skills, our evaluation has shown:

  • One in two (56%) students who start below expected level in reading catch up with their peers over the course of our 20 sessions
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of teachers said that Game Changers improved their students' reading skills

Meanwhile, surveys of students' attitudes to reading indicate:

  • More than twice as many young people say they enjoy reading after completing Game Changers compared to before (27% vs. 13%)
  • Almost 3 in 4 pupils (74%) feel they can be more successful in life, having read the stories from Game Changers

“The Game Changers programme has been fantastic and has engaged a lot of our learners in sport and literacy to a level that I haven’t previously seen in a PRU”

Tom Hoskin, teacher, Swindon

Is Game Changers suitable for my students?

Game Changers uses the stories of role-models with lived experience of school exclusion. The programme is targeted at any students with whom these inspirational narratives might resonate. These include:

  • Excluded students in pupil referral units and other alternative provision settings
  • Students attending SEN schools for SEMH needs
  • Students attending internal exclusion units within mainstream schools
  • Mainstream school students deemed ‘at risk of exclusion’, or who have recently returned from a period of school exclusion

The programme aims to use stories and themes which engage teenagers - in a way that's accessible to lower comprehension abilities. The reading age is roughly 8+, while the content is suitable for KS3 and above.

View sample materials

Read our overview of Game Changers and explore sample materials from across the learning scheme to discover more about the programme.

If you have any further questions, email the team at

How do I access Game Changers

  • You can purchase the full Game Changers package for £250 by signing up through the link below.
  • We'll ask for the contact details of both the person delivering programme, and the finance contact.
  • Payment can be by card or invoice - please have your purchase order number ready if you need to add this for your invoice
  • The package includes materials for a group of up to 10 students. If you wish to run the programme with more students you can buy additional boxes for £175.

For existing National Literacy Trust premium membership holders, contact us at to find out about our members' discount.

Buy Game Changers now