The Reads and the Read-Nots
22 Aug 2011
New National Literacy Trust research* of 18,141 children reveals a polarised nation of young readers with 1 in 6 reporting that they don’t read a single book in a month, while 1 in 10 say they read more than 10 books in a month.
This divide between the “reads” and the “read-nots” is concerning because the research shows reading frequency has a direct link to attainment, as 8 in 10 children who read over 10 books a month are above average readers compared to just 3 in 10 of those who rarely read.
Fresh approaches are urgently needed to encourage young people to read more. However, the number of children who never read a book suggests the government has a huge challenge on its hands if Michael Gove’s “50 books a year” initiative is to reach every child.
The research also found that:
- 77% of children who read for longer than an hour at a time are above average readers, while just 4% who read for over an hour are below the level expected of them.
- Only 30% of children who read for up to 10 minutes at a time are above average readers, with 20% below the reading expected level for their age.
- Text messages are the most popular thing for children to read outside of class with 60% saying they read texts outside of class at least once a month.
- Children who read text messages but not fiction books are twice as likely to be below average readers compared to those who also read fiction (10% versus 5%).
The full research report is available here.
Click here to read the full media release.
* Clark, Christina, Setting the Baseline: Reading Report, London: National Literacy Trust, 2011.
18,141 young people aged 8 to 17 from across the UK took part in the research.
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