Nick Gibb announces national reading competition
The government is launching a reading competition for children aged seven to 12 years, which it believes will 'inspire children to become voracious readers and boost literacy standards'.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb announced the competition today, 7th February, at Stockwell Park High School, London. It will launch in the autumn.
The competition will involve school-led events which Ministers envisage will result in local, regional and national prizes to make reading more attractive.
It will include a strong peer-to-peer element, including getting young people to select competition titles, and it is hoped it will create a link between school and home to encourage the involvement of parents to support their children's reading.
Nick Gibb said: 'I am passionate about wanting all children to develop a real love of books and of reading for pleasure. Children should always have a book on the go. The difference in achievement between children who read for half an hour a day in their spare time and those who do not is huge - as much as a year's education by the time they are 15.'
Some 15 per cent of seven-year-olds currently do not reach the expected level (level 2) in reading while 16 per cent of 11-year-olds do not achieve the expected level (level 4) in reading.
England has also slipped down the international table for reading in primary schools. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) of 10-year-olds saw England fall from third out of 35 countries in 2001 to fifteenth out of 40 countries in 2006.