Best Practice

Reading for pleasure and its impact on student outcomes

A strategic focus on reading for pleasure in key stage 3 can help schools to boost student outcomes and enhance wellbeing. Drawing on the new DfE Reading Framework, Professor Teresa Cremin advises
Image: Adobe Stock

Reading for pleasure – volitional reading – is sometimes seen as discretionary enrichment, permissible only if it doesn’t interrupt the “real work” of education, like preparing for key stage tests or GCSE coursework.

However, nurturing young people’s voluntary reading is not an optional extra or an add-on – it is a potent tool for raising standards and supporting students’ psychological wellbeing.

So, unsurprisingly, it is given a complete section in the updated Reading Framework, which now encompasses key stages 2 and 3 (DfE, 2023).


The advantages of reading for pleasure

Reading, as schools minister Nick Gibb acknowledges in the foreword, is a “key indicator for success in further education, higher education and employment”.

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