More than half of teachers believe contemporary children read less than their generation did when they were growing up, according to new research carried out for the launch of this year’s Read for My School competition.
For the study, 500 teachers in the UK were asked about the reading habits of children and while 57% said children read less, 25% said they read about the same amount and only 18% said they read more.
More than a third of the teachers – 40% - said they think children will be reading even less in 10 years time, and 64% said parents are less involved than they were 10 years ago.
Read for My School is run by Pearson and Booktrust and challenges pupils in Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 in primary school and Year 7 and 8 in secondary school to read as many books as they can in two months.
This year’s competition will be launched tomorrow (21st January) by MP Nick Gibb, who said: ““Ensuring young people can read well is central to our plan for education and so I fully support this competition which will further boost the number of children embracing reading for pleasure. Thanks to the hard work of teachers and crucial reforms like the introduction of the phonics check 100,000 more children are already on course to become confident, proficient readers compared to three years ago.”
The organisers hope that this year pupils will read 1,000,000 books between now and March. Children can also for the first time read on tablets or mobile devices, as well as computers or print books.
More than 3,600 schools took part in last year’s competition, with some 212,000 pupils reading a total of 876,000 books.