Dear Graham. I wanted to get in touch to update you on progress with the Read On. Get on. campaign and the latest literacy statistics which show some progress but still a long way to go, particularly for the poorest children.
Save the Children and the Read On. Get On. campaign have been calling for all parties to commit to getting all children reading well by the end of primary school, by 2025. We’ve been incredibly grateful for the support the campaign has enjoyed from Ed Miliband, Tristram Hunt and Alan Johnson, and we hope all parties will make a manifesto commitment to working towards this goal.
Our goal is ambitious but achievable. National statistics released towards the end of last year showed that over the past year there have been increases in reading achievement for all children and that those on free school meals are catching up to their better off peers:
· 78% of all 11 year olds are now reading well (reaching level 4b), compared to 75% in 2013.
· 64% of 11 year olds eligible for free school meals are reaching this standard – a rise of 4% on 2013.
· But the poorest children were still significantly behind their peers, with 81% of children not on free school meals reading well in 2014 (up from 78% the previous year).
Whilst it is positive that we’re going in the right direction, there is clearly still a lot of work to do. The new figures mean that there are still almost 1 in 5 children who are not reading well at the end of primary school. And this increases to more than a third of our poorest children.
We’re calling for all parties to commit to our goal to get all children reading well at age 11, by 2025. It would be fantastic if you could champion the campaign and our goal within your party. You may also hear this week from our local Read On. Get On. supporters in your constituency who are working with us to build support for the campaign.
With best wishes,
Parliamentary and Advocacy Adviser – UK
Save the Children, 1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR