Extra funding from the Welsh Assembly has helped socially disadvantaged students to improve their self-esteem and behaviour, says a new report.
The Raise initiative aims to improve national standards of literacy. The Welsh education inspectorate Estyn says that it still remains to be seen whether the project will significantly improve levels of academic achievement.
Estyn reports that many children targeted by RAISE have increased their levels of self-confidence having received given extra attention and support.
The watchdogs managing inspector Meilyr Rowlands said: The impact of RAISE has been significant on the development of pupils personal, learning and social skills.
We now need to ensure that the legacy of the funding has a long term effect on improving standards and performance, she added.
The programme was launched in April 2006 and offered funding to 648 Welsh schools with a high-proportion of deprived pupils.
Schools qualified for a grant if over a fifth of the pupils were eligible for free school meals.