According to research*, one fifth of all children in England and close to a third of disadvantaged children are unable to read well when they leave primary school. Read on Get on aims to change that with their new strategy to get all children reading well by the age of 11 by 2025.
The Read On. Get On. coalition has published a bold new strategy, which sets out how as a country, we can ensure our children enjoy reading and leave primary school with the reading skills they need to succeed.
Research shows the substantial impact that poor reading skills have on social inequality and our economy. If not addressed the problem will cost us £32.1 billion by 2025, which equates to over £900 per household in 2020 and £1,200 in 2025.
The new reading strategy outlines 10 steps to achieving the ambitious but achievable campaign target for 96% of children to read well by the age of 11 by 2025. It is built on the following key principles: getting children reading is a job for us all; the work starts at birth; the importance of enjoyment of reading; and the need to have the highest ambitions for all children.
Plans to create a consistent national measure of children’s reading are also outlined in the strategy, as variations in assessment data and gaps in effective measures mean like-for-like comparisons of children’s reading are currently impossible. While the National Curriculum requires schools to support children’s enjoyment of reading, this is not reflected in current assessment. National Literacy Trust research shows that pupils who enjoy reading ‘very much’ are three times as likely to read above the level expected for their age as those who do not enjoy reading at all.
The Read On. Get On. campaign was launched in 2014 by a coalition of organisations including the National Literacy Trust, NAHT, Save the Children, Beanstalk and Teach First. The campaign aligns with the goals of the Vision for Literacy and the Fair Education Alliance and achieved cross-party support last year. Celebrities and authors who are backing the campaign include David Walliams, Myleene Klass, Joanna Trollope and Cressida Cowell.
You can visit the National Literacy Trust website to find out more about the campaign.
*Research by Reading England’s Future (November 2014)