A new reading campaign has been launched to help teachers and parents engage children in literature.
Pearson's 'Enjoy Reading' drive comes on the back of research which found that 77 per cent of those in secondary teacher roles say that children's attention spans in the classroom on starting school are shorter than ever before.
And an even more comprehensive 97 per cent of those in English teaching jobs believe parents could do more to encourage reading for pleasure at home.
This point of view is supported fully by the National Literacy Trust's report, 'Children's Reading Today', which last month revealed that only 30 per cent of children read daily outside class.
The importance of reading was underlined in July by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who said that "reading with confidence is the basis of a good education and to unlocking everything the school curriculum has to offer".
In order to boost reading among young people, Pearson is launching a number of initiatives under the 'Enjoy Reading' banner, including a new national reading competition for schools, a hub for parents and thousands of free books for children.
"Study after study has shown that reading for pleasure is a key indicator of future success for children, but demands on children's attention and the difficulty of inspiring reluctant readers mean many are missing out," commented Rod Bristow, president of Pearson.
"The 'Enjoy Reading' campaign is designed to support parents and schools to inspire children of all abilities to read."
Pearson's survey also revealed that 84 per cent of teachers need tools to help encourage reading online and part of its campaign will involve working with playwright Frank Cottrell-Boyce on the Heroes series of books, which incorporate state-of-the-art digital teaching resources "to inspire even the most reluctant reader and take advantage of children's love of going online".
Posted by Theo Foulds