Only a quarter of 16-year-olds say they enjoy writing

The number of pupils who say they enjoy writing falls dramatically between the ages of eight and 16.

Research published by the National Literacy Trust and involving more than 71,000 children and young people aged 8 to 18 warns that only one in three (35%) said they enjoyed writing (Clark et al, 2023).

In similar research in 2010, when the NLT first began asking this question, 46% of the responding pupils said they enjoyed writing.

Furthermore, the research shows that while 72% of pupils aged 5 to 8 say they enjoy writing, this drops to 52% for those aged 8 to 11 and then to 26% for 14 to 16-year-olds.

It comes at a time when the pandemic has hit pupils’ writing skills. In 2022, 31% of key stage 2 pupils did not reach expected levels in writing, compared to 22% in 2019.

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