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News story

We launch a series of national reading challenges and a schools book quiz

26 Nov 2020

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Today, with the generous support of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), we are delighted to launch a national reading campaign called Reading Champions.

The campaign comprises a series of reading challenges and a national schools book quiz. School teams will be able to enter the National Reading Champions Quiz for a chance to be recognised as the Reading Champions 2021. The quiz is delivered through a series of regional and national live events. Alongside the quiz, the Reading Champions Challenges are simple, free, teacher-led reading challenges which aim to support all pupils to read more books, read more widely, and improve stamina and fluency.

The quiz will be a wonderful way to showcase students’ reading knowledge and peer group collaboration as well as celebrate the role of libraries and librarians within schools. The quiz is open to students aged between 10-14 years and invites schools to enter up to two teams of four students per team. Regional Heats will run throughout May with the winners of those heats going on to compete in the national final in June.

Due to the current pandemic it is not feasible this academic year to run regional heats in person. However, the quiz is being fully adapted to an online quiz and will allow as many schools to take part as possible from the comfort of their classrooms. Schools will be allocated a time and date for their regional heat and then the winning team from each region will compete in the final.

To encourage reading for pleasure in schools, as well as developing reading stamina and increasing reading diversity, a series of Reading Champions Challenges are available for schools to take part in. The first Reading Champions Challenge supports whole school literacy and other challenges will follow covering a range of different topics and resources.

Our research shows that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to read above the level expected for their age compared to those who don’t enjoy reading. Reading for fun can support wellbeing and academic performance across a range of school subjects.

“Books open up a world of adventures – and as we live through another lockdown, we are all in need of an adventure. It is hugely exciting to launch this campaign and the National Reading Champions Quiz, which we hope will provide some much-needed joy and inspire a new generation of literature lovers. COVID-19 has exacerbated the literacy skills gap in our country and the education sector has experienced a very difficult year. Necessary restrictions mean we can’t conduct live, in-person heats, but we will make sure this year’s digital version continues the fun and excitement with the quiz’s rich tradition.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust

“I’m delighted to be on the steering committee of Reading Champions and can’t think of a better organisation to run a national reading quiz so that it will grow and thrive and spread the delight of reading”.

Jacky Atkinson, former Chair of Trustees, Kids Lit Quiz UK

With grateful thanks for the financial support of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society who have enabled us to launch this campaign.

Find out more about our Reading Challenges

For more information about Reading Champions please contact Henrietta Roberts, Project Manager, email

Media enquiries

For further information, please contact Celia Jones, Media and Communications Manager, email or 07714 389 440 (out of hours).

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