NFER contributes to major literacy campaign
8 September 2014
Today sees the launch of a major new national campaign to get all 11 year olds ‘reading well by 2025’, which draws on evidence from a further analysis of the 2011 Progress in International Reading Study (PIRLS) provided by NFER.
Commissioned by Save the Children on behalf of the Read On. Get On. coalition, experts from NFER’s Centre for International Comparisons assessed how England compares with other developed countries in reading levels among children as they reach the end of primary school. The analysis features in the campaign report alongside research by Newcastle University, CentreForum and the National Literacy Trust.
Key findings from the Read On. Get On. report include:
- England is one of the most unequal countries when it comes to children’s reading levels, second only to Romania in the EU.
- The gap between the strongest and weakest readers is equivalent to seven years of schooling.
- Disadvantaged children are the worst affected, with four in 10 not reading well by the age of 11 – almost double the rate of their better off peers.
- A wide ‘book gap’ in the UK has emerged, with almost a quarter of 11 year olds in the poorest families having fewer than ten books in their home.
- While books remain popular, the most commonly read material by children is now text messages with websites and e-books also growing in popularity.
A detailed evidence report of PIRLS analysis will be published by NFER in October.