Our new report finds that author visits to schools have a positive relationship with children and young people’s literacy

26 Jun 2019
Francesca Beard author visit

To mark National Writing Day, we’ve published a new report today which shows that author visits to schools have a positive relationship with children and young people’s reading skills, and their enjoyment and confidence in reading and writing.

Our report found that pupils who had an author visit this academic year:

  • Were twice as likely to read above the expected level for their age (31% vs 17%)
  • Were more likely to enjoy reading (68% vs 47%) and writing (44% vs 32%)
  • Were more likely to be highly confident in their reading (37% vs 25%) and writing (22% vs 17%)

However, we also found that only 1 in 4 pupils had an author visit this academic year, and those from the poorest backgrounds were most likely to miss out.

In response, we’re excited to be launching two new projects with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) to give children from disadvantaged communities more opportunities to meet authors through unique cultural experiences and visits to schools in our National Literacy Trust Hubs.The impact of writer visits on children and young people's literacy engagement

We’ve also created a free digital poet in residence resource to give primary schools the chance to have a digital visit from professional poet Simon Mole – for times when it's not possible for schools to have an author, writer or poet visit in person.

What’s more, we’ve teamed up with ALCS to open nominations for the Ruth Rendell Award 2019 today to celebrate the incredible authors and writers who have championed literacy and supported efforts to raise literacy levels in the UK over the past year.

“We cannot overstate how important author visits are for sparking a love of reading and writing in children that will ignite their imaginations, enhance their wellbeing and transform their life chances. We are thrilled to be working with ALCS to inspire pupils’ writing through a series of school visits from authors and poets, and to also launch the Ruth Rendell Award 2019 to celebrate the authors and writers who have taken great strides to champion literacy in the past year.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director

Our report is based on our 2019 Annual Literacy Survey of 56,905 pupils aged 9 to 18 across the UK and includes findings from the Great School Library Campaign.