Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Reading England’s Future: Mapping how well the poorest children read - Hyndburn

Dear Graham,

I saw your piece for the Accrington Observer and wanted to get in touch, firstly to thank you for supporting the campaign and secondly, to provide you with a little more information on child literacy rates in Hyndburn, and on the campaign. 

Reading England’s Future

The Read on. Get on. campaign’s latest report, Reading England’s Future uses constituency level data from the National Pupil Database to shine a light on the geographical differences in reading achievement of children from low-income families.

The report was intended to inform and inspire locally driven change by helping areas to understand their starting points and the nature of their challenge. Disadvantaged children falling behind in reading is an issue in all areas of the country – but low-income children are more likely to be behind in some areas than others, including suburbs, rural areas and seaside towns, and particularly in the South East and the East of England.

Hyndburn’s stats (see foot of article)

You will see from the attached information that Hyndburn is only slightly below the average for literacy rates of children of free school meals at 11 and, reassuringly, there were 16% more 11 year olds on free school meals reading well in 2013, than there were in 2003. This suggests a positive trend. 

10 minutes a day

Getting all children reading will require work from all of us – teachers, parents, communities – not just governments. That is why a major part of this campaign is about encouraging parents to read with children for at least 10 minutes a day. Research from the education research charity EdComms included in our last report showed that the role of parents is crucial, and that just a small daily amount of reading with your child, can make all the difference.

Looking ahead

As the campaign develops, we’ll continue to campaign around that ’10 minutes a day’ message and to look at the policy interventions at government level that would make the difference. We identified in our last report, that whilst really positive gains have been made in early years and primary education, there is room for significantly more improvement – improvement that is necessary if we’re to reach our goal of getting all children reading well by age 11, by 2025. 

Thank you once again for your support and I look forward to being able to work with you on the campaign.

With very best wishes
Jamilla Hinds-Brough
Parliamentary and Advocacy Officer – UK
Save the Children, 1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR                                                                     
T: 020 3763 0568
Read on. Get On Campaign

The Read On. Get On. campaign is calling for commitment to a goal of all children reading well at age 11 by 2025. On 27th November, the Read on Get on campaign will publish a new report – Reading England’s Future – which will provide new analysis on the geography of reading disadvantage in England by comparing the reading ability of poor children across parliamentary constituencies and changes over time.

If we are to achieve our mission, we cannot forget a single poor child in any part of the country. The report focuses on children on Free School Meals because they are statistically more likely to be behind in reading than their better-off peers. Furthermore, this group makes up nearly one-fifth of all pupils.

How well poor children are reading varies massively across the country, and there is no part of the country that does not need to do more to reach the goal of all children reading well by 11. Many primary schools are achieving very impressive results against all the odds. But what happens in schools is only part of the picture. Other factors, in particular, levels of early language development, are also critical to whether or not children are behind in reading by 11. It is for this reason that this report focuses on early language development at age 5, as well as reading well at 11.

If we are going to achieve the Read On. Get On. ambition, it will require local communities, schools and parents to ‘own’ it. That is why the purpose of this report is to inform and inspire locally driven change. We want this analysis to support every local area to understand its starting point and the nature of its challenge. Every school and teacher, every local area wants all children to be reading well – a big part of the Read On. Get On. campaign will be to inform and tap into this local energy and ambition.


This data is from the National Pupil Database and is based on the average over three years (2010/2011, 2011/2012, 2012/2013 data). The analysis was carried out by Dr Rebecca Allen for the Read On. Get On. campaign for all constituencies in England. ‘Reading Well’ in this report is defined as reaching Level 4 at Key Stage 2. ‘Good language development’ is defined as reaching a score of 6 on the Communication, Language and Literacy element of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile at age 5.

19% of children on Free School Meals in the constituency last year (2013)

73% of children on Free School Meals reading well at the age of 11

84% of all children reading well at the age of 11

38% of children on Free School Meals reaching good early language development at age 5

Average progress made by children on Free School Meals at primary school between the ages of 5 and 11 years = 16% improvement in the proportion of children on Free School Meals reading well at 11 between 2003 and 2013

For more information: Hollie Warren, Education Policy Advisor: h.warren@savethechildren.org.uk; Jamilla Hinds-Brough, Parliamentary and Advocacy Officer: j.hinds-brough@savethechildren.org.uk Produced by Save the Children for the Read on. Get on. campaign