It is troubling to see that 11-year-old’s reading levels have dropped, and writing levels are still substantially down compared to pre-pandemic levels. Poverty is inextricably linked to low literacy, and with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and child poverty, increasingly means more children will be struggling with their literacy. To hit the Government’s targets of 90% of children reaching expected levels in reading and writing by 2030, it is imperative that we prioritise supporting teachers, pupils, and families and stop a generation of children growing up without the literacy skills they need to thrive.
Today, we welcome the Government’s new Reading Framework and the recognition of the fundamental importance of reading of a child’s future potential. We were delighted to be consulted on this framework, alongside other reading and language experts and educational organisations.
For 30 years, we have been supporting the professional development of leaders in schools to use reading and writing for pleasure and literacy as a vital tool for social mobility. Literacy has a critical impact on a child’s success across every subject, as well as their mental wellbeing, and ultimately their life chances. It is more important than ever that we – charities, schools, Government, businesses, and communities – prioritise the reading and writing skills of children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, supporting them with access to books, resources and activities, libraries in primary schools, and significant investment in the early years.