First Minister's Reading Challenge 2019-10 Evaluation Brief

Scottish Book Trust is seeking to recruit a researcher or research team to evaluate the 2019-20 First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

This research is for Scottish Book Trust and will be used to inform future development of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge(this will open in a new window).

If you are interested in tendering for this project, please email your proposal to will open in a new window) by 12 noon on Tuesday 7 January 2020. Prior to submission, interested parties can contact Keava with any questions about the project, evaluation or tender process.

A PDF version of this brief is available to download.


Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes books, reading and writing have the power to change lives, from supporting mental health and wellbeing to breaking the poverty cycle, improving employability and inspiring creativity.

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is a programme for schools, libraries, and community groups that work with children and young people between the ages of 5 and 15. The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is funded by Scottish Government and delivered by Scottish Book Trust. The programme encourages children to develop and sustain the habit of reading for pleasure through supporting the development of reading cultures in schools and communities. Schools that register to take part in the programme can access resources and support for teachers and pupils, and are eligible to submit details of their work around the programme for consideration for an award in a number of categories. Evaluation of previous years(this will open in a new window) of the programme is available.

Objectives of the evaluation

Assess to what extent the First Minister’s Reading Challenge met its designated outcomes in 2019–20, including particular focus on the following three areas:

The evaluation should seek to assess how far progress against the programme outcomes can be attributed specifically to participation in the programme.

While the evaluation will be used to assess progress against intended outcomes, it should be designed in a way which can capture unintended outcomes. It should also gather evidence which can be used to inform improvement of the project over time.


The research team will be required to develop a methodology to achieve the evaluation’s objectives, as well as design, organise, manage, carry out, collate, and undertake analysis of all data.

Research deliverables

All research deliverables should be provided using accessible language and formats. It is anticipated that successful completion of the project will provide the following:

Proposal Guidance

We expect that the proposals submitted will:

Tenders should include details of the applicant’s proposed methodology, focus, and approach, a description of how the work would be carried out within the timescale, and an indication of the extent to which the scope of the evaluation can cover the identified outcomes. Tenders should also provide a summary of the evaluator’s skills, knowledge and experience and include a budget breakdown.

Scottish Book Trust wishes to engage an evaluator with significant knowledge and experience of working with local authorities and the Scottish education sector, including relevant policies and practice. The evaluator must ensure that all staff carrying out fieldwork have knowledge and experience of working with schools, teachers, children and local authorities, and hold valid Basic Disclosure Certificates.



The budget for this research project has not been set yet. The maximum budget available for this evaluation, including VAT and any expenses, is £20,000.

Programme outcomes

Programme outcomes, as agreed by Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Government and the First Minister’s Reading Challenge Advisory Group, are outlined below. The full list is included here for reference only. We will work with the successful evaluator to refine the focus of the evaluation.

Additionally, we have the below aims with regard to the secondary, library and community strands opf the programme


Public libraries

Community groups