Pandemic reading engagement gains slip away

Four in five boys from disadvantaged backgrounds do not read on a daily basis, while only half of students say they actually enjoy reading.

Research involving more than 70,000 students aged 5 to 18 from 327 schools in England, Scotland and Wales also shows that only 28% of all students say they read on a daily basis.

The National Literacy Trust’s (NLT) annual reading engagement report (Cole et al, 2022) warns that increases in children and young people’s reading engagement during the early stages of the pandemic had been “completely eroded” by early 2022.

The report states: “This is particularly the case for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and, within this group, for boys. It is clear that much more must be done to support children and young people with the lowest levels of reading enjoyment, recognising the role that families, schools and the wider community have to play in ensuring this downward trend does not extend into future years.”

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