The purpose of the Reading Recovery programme is to mount an early intervention to operate within an education system with the express intention of reducing literacy problems in that system. The programme is directed only to the lowest achievers in literacy in their second year at school, but can be used in any educational programme irrespective of teaching methods or philosophy. When an education system begins this programme the question is simply ‘What is possible?’ when one tries to bring as many low achievers into the average band of classroom instruction and any measure of success is a gain.