More children are reading for pleasure than ever, National Literacy Trust finds

The National Literacy Trust’s annual survey has revealed that more children are reading for pleasure than ever before, with a More children are reading for pleasure than ever, National Literacy Trust findsnotable increase in the number of children reading every day.

The survey revealed that the enjoyment and frequency of children reading is at its highest level for nine years.

Of the children surveyed, 54.4 per cent said that they enjoy reading either ‘very much’ or ‘quite a lot’. A further 35.5 per cent said that they only enjoyed reading a little bit. Only 10 per cent of the children said that they do not enjoy reading at all.

When looking at how often children read, the figures have increased noticeably, with a 28.6 per cent increase in the number of children who read every day, outside of the classroom, during the periods studied. The figure climbed from 32.2 per cent in 2013, to 41.1 per cent in 2014.

In recent years, a number of major campaigns have been launched to encourage children to spend more time reading. These campaigns include: Bookstart, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Young Readers Programme and National Literacy Trust Hubs.

It has been found that reading outside of school can have a positive effect on a child’s attainment at school, with children who read for pleasure being five times more likely to have an above average reading age, as opposed to those who do not read.

The survey discovered that there is a notable gap in the frequency of reading between genders, with approximately half (46.5 per cent) of girls claiming to read outside of school every day. Just 35.8 per cent of boys said the same.

As well as this, a higher proportion of girls (61.6 per cent) read for pleasure ‘very much’ or ‘a lot’, as opposed to just 47.2 per cent of the boys surveyed.

The survey also indicated that children perceived there to be a lack of interest amongst parents when it came to their child’s reading, with 1 in 4 (24.3 per cent) children agreeing with the statement “my parents don’t care if I spend any time reading”.

Of the children on free school meals, 31.5 per cent agreed with the statement, as opposed to 23 per cent of children not on free school meals.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said of the survey:

“More must be done to help parents realise what a difference reading with their children from a young age can make to their future. Initiatives including Read On. Get On and our Words for Life campaign are raising awareness and helping parents understand their role in supporting their child’s literacy.”

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