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Help us tackle the cost of literacy crisis

Act now Cost of Literacy Campaign banner image

We’d planned to run a 30th birthday campaign this spring, celebrating our achievements over the past three decades. But events have outpaced us, and the growing cost of literacy crisis is too large to ignore.

Soaring prices are having a direct impact on child literacy levels. And families with the lowest incomes are being hit the hardest.

Donate today to help us tackle the cost of literacy crisis

The cost of literacy crisis explained

  • The number of children that don’t own their own book is rising – to a shocking 1 in 5, among 5-to-8 year olds
  • In 2023, over 185,000 5-year olds in England started school without the communication and language skills they need to thrive
  • Approximately 40% of children from disadvantaged communities now leave primary school with unacceptably low levels of literacy
  • Low literacy means children are much more likely to struggle with their GCSEs, and more likely to end up unemployed by their 30s*
  • Nine children in every single reception classroom are already falling behind
  • We estimate that the disadvantage gap in early literacy skills is costing England over £800 million every year
Donate today to help us tackle the cost of literacy crisis

The disadvantage gap in early years is getting worse

We already work with families, schools and community groups across the country, running on the ground initiatives to support families with early years literacy, fill school libraries, train teachers and help school leavers into their first job.

But the scale of the nation’s literacy problem is growing, restricting opportunities for our children to reach their full potential, and holding back our economy.

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Your donation will make a difference

We know times are tough and giving money to charity might be a stretch right now. But a regular donation from you means we could expand our programmes to change more stories. Because where you are born and how wealthy your parents are shouldn’t determine where you end up.

And honestly, that’s the best birthday present you could give us.

Toddler boy looks directly at camera Cost of Literacy Crisis Campaign
Donate today to help us tackle the cost of literacy crisis

*‘Modelling developmental language difficulties from school entry into adulthood: literacy, mental health, and employment outcomes’, Law et al. (2009)

** UK Government KS2 SATs assessment data analysis