Vision for Literacy Business Pledge

Sainsbury's World Book Day

Research estimates that if every child left primary school with the reading skills they need, our economy could be more than £32.1 billion bigger by 2025 [1]. Many employers also face direct costs to their business and low literacy creates barriers to social mobility.

Now in its third year, the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge calls on the UK business community to join the national literacy campaign and deliver tangible benefits to help close the literacy gap and boost social mobility. Launched by the National Literacy Forum with the support of KPMG in 2015, the Pledge has seen a 46% increase in the number of businesses committing their support over the past three years.

It is also having a real impact. In 2016, KPMG supported the literacy of more than 500 deprived children with 150 of its employees volunteering 1,000 hours of their time on literacy activities. There were also direct benefits for the businesses involved in 2017, with 91% reporting increased employee engagement, morale and motivation and 64% highlighting an improvement in team working skills.

63 businesses have signed the pledge in 2018, with household names John Lewis, Clarks and Metro Bank joining businesses including Amazon, Facebook, KPMG, McDonald’s and the Premier League. Throughout the year, businesses will be supported to address the literacy problems that exist within their workforces, in the local communities where they have a presence, and on a national level.

Businesses will also be looking to target their resources where they can make the biggest difference to the UK’s literacy challenge – in the early years. Children from poorer backgrounds in England start school at the age of five already 18 months behind their wealthier peers in terms of school readiness. Businesses can help to change this.

Would you like to join the national literacy campaign?

You can register your interest now for next year by emailing

Download the 2018 pledge brochure to see the full list of signatories.

Further details about the 2018 pledge, including impact so far and what's new in 2018, are in the supporting documents.

For any other questions, please email

[1] Read On. Get On. (2014) How reading can help children escape poverty. Published by Save the Children on behalf of the Read. On. Get On. campaign
[2] P Sammons, K Toth and K Sylva (2015) Subject to Background: What promotes better achievement for bright but disadvantaged students? The Sutton Trust and University of Oxford.