More children are reading for fun

3 June, 2015

"It is very encouraging to see that the number of children who read every day has radically increased."

“It is very encouraging to see that the number of children who read every day has radically increased.”

Our CSR partners, the National Literacy Trust, recently released the results of their latest study showing record numbers of children are reading every day.

Based on responses from 32,000 pupils at more than 130 schools in the UK, the study found that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading outside school at all age levels.

Those who read each day are more likely to read above the expected level for their age group, compared to youngsters who never read outside school.

This is the fifth annual survey of children and young people aged between eight and 18.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Children and young people who read daily outside class are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age compared with young people who never read outside class.
  • The gender gap is growing between girls’ and boys’ reading:
    • Almost half (46.5%) of girls say that they read outside class on a daily basis compared with over a third of boys (35.8%). (This compares with 36.6% of girls and 28.2% of boys in 2013).
    • Six in ten (61.6%) girls enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot compared with 47.2% of boys (compared to 59.8% of girls and 47.1% of boys in 2013).

The research demonstrates more is needed to be done to raise awareness among parents of how important their engagement is for their child’s literacy development, particularly among the most disadvantaged children. One child in four (24.3%) surveyed agreed with the statement “my parents don’t care if I spend any time reading”. This increases sharply among pupils who receive free school meals with almost one third (31.5%) agreeing with the statement, compared to 23% of pupils who do not receive free school meals.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the charity, has also taken part in radio interviews with BBC 5 live and Sky News, to name a few. He said: “It is very encouraging to see that the number of children who read every day has radically increased.

“However, it is a real concern that a third of the most disadvantaged children think their parents do not care whether they read.

“More must be done to help parents realise what a difference reading with their children from a young age can make to their children.”

The report highlights the very real need for the important work the National Literacy Trust undertakes in disadvantaged areas across the country. The credible and highly respected charity raises awareness of the importance of literacy and make it a priority for politicians and parents, which in turn regularly brings them a high level of coverage across national media.

At Kumon, we believe reading is the cornerstone to all other education and that nurturing a love of reading from an early age can make a huge difference to a child’s education.

You can view the full report by visiting the National Literacy Trust’s website and downloading the report entitled Children’s and Young People’s Reading in 2014.