Reading unpopular with young people

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Only half of young people enjoy reading, according to a new report by the National Literacy Trust issued as the charity launched its Vote for Literacy campaign. In a study of 17,089 pupils from 112 schools, only 50.6 per cent said they enjoy reading “very much” or “quite a lot”.

The finding is published in a new report, Literacy: State of the Nation, which also reveals that a quarter of young people do not recognise a link between reading and success, This is despite the fact that those with poor literacy skills are less likely to be in full-time employment at the age of thirty than those with average or above average reading abilities. The report further claims that one in six people in the UK have a level of literacy that is below that expected of an eleven year old.

“The fact that only half of the young people in our comprehensive study enjoy reading very much or quite a lot is extremely worrying”, says Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas. “We believe this should be of great concern to all political parties as reading for pleasure helps to develop strong literacy skills and ultimately, supports academic and future success.”

The Trust’s Vote for Literacy campaign calls on members of the public to lobby their MPs and take an online quiz to find out which political party they should vote for, based on their literacy policies. A number of celebrities have pledged their support for the campaign, including Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, comedian Bill Bailey, singer Alesha Dixon, author John Le Carré and TV and radio presenter Kirsty Young.

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