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Manifesto for Literacy

In September 2009, we launched our Manifesto for Literacy and called on political parties to prioritise literacy in their manifestos for the anticipated May 2010 election.

One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy and the run-up to an election is the perfect time to highlight the acute social, economic and personal problems associated with poor literacy.

In September 2008, we published Literacy Changes Lives, a review of research which showed the difference in a range of outcomes between those with good and poor literacy levels. The areas considered were:

  • economic well-being
  • aspirations
  • family life
  • health
  • civic and cultural participation

As well as there being clear differences in outcomes between those with good and poor literacy, research also shows that individuals who improve their literacy levels have significantly improved outcomes in all these areas.

We believe that as literacy is associated with all of these outcomes, it is an issue of fundamental importance to social justice and equality and that the three major political parties need to treat it as such.

Developed in consultation with over 30 national organisations, our Manifesto for Literacy made specific recommendations for government to develop literacy support for families, to modernise literacy teaching and to run a national campaign taking literacy to new audiences.

Manifesto for Literacy (short version)

Manifesto for Literacy (full version)

Literacy Changes Lives

This document pulls together existing research about the impact of literacy on five areas in a person's life: economic well-being, aspirations, family life, health and civic/cultural engagement.

Literacy: State of the Nation

Find out more about literacy levels in the UK

Read more

The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.