Back to school might also mean ‘back to books’ for some of you, as new research shows that children’s enjoyment of reading is at an all-time low.
The National Literacy Trust (NLT) has found that right now, more than half (56.6%) of children aged 8-18 don’t enjoy reading in their free time. The rate among poorer children is even worse, and one in ten kids from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t have any books at home.
The worry is that poorer children will fall behind classmates whose families are better-off. The NLT says a third of disadvantaged children leave primary school below the expected reading level, and this stops them from reaching their potential later in life because they grow up without the tools to communicate. “Sparking a love of reading can change a child’s life,” said Martin Galway, Head of Schools Programmes at the NLT.
The start of the new school term could make things better. The research shows that children are more likely to enjoy reading if they have access to a quiet space, books that represent them, and support from teachers. The NLT is working to create more primary school libraries and to help children access diverse books and stories that have characters like them.
Francesca Simon, a best-selling author and NLT ambassador, said: “We cannot let a generation of children lose out on the benefits that reading can bring. We must work together to make sure every child has the safe space and access to books to start them on their reading journey.”
Now have your say and let us know what you think!