English teachers found out yesterday (December 5th) that one third of children in the UK do not own any books after a study by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) revealed the statistic with the publication of its latest piece of research.
Revealing that there are 3.8 million young people in the UK without a single book of their own, the research suggests this number is increasing, as seven years ago the figure stood at just one in ten.
The charity expressed its concern at the rising figure, highlighting what it believes is a direct link between a child's reading ability and the number of books in their home.
Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas believes that it is essential to give children the best possible start in life and providing them with books is an essential part of this.
He said: "With one in six in the UK struggling with literacy it is very worrying that many children could be missing out on opportunities to develop these essential skills."
The report also found that girls were more likely to say that they owned their own books, with seven in ten girls compared to six in ten boys making the claim.
Furthermore, almost one in five (19 per cent) of children questioned by the NLT said they had never received a book as a present and 12 per cent said they had never been to a bookshop.
Seven per cent told researchers they had never visited a library.
The survey highlighted that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, stipulated as those receiving free school meals (FSM), were less likely to have their own books as these figures were higher across the board for FSM compared to non-FSM children.
Commenting on the research, George Monbiot told the Telegraph: "If the statistics are as frightening as they appear to be, it’s a tragedy because it means that children are missing out on one of the richest and most thrilling experiences that they can have, which is reading."
In response to the survey's findings, the NLT has launched its Gift of Reading at Christmas fundraising campaign, which will pay for books that will be given to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Posted by Harriet McGowan