A record number of children enjoy reading and there has been a marked rise in the number doing so every day.
The National Literacy Trust's annual survey reveals enjoyment of reading and frequency of reading are both at their highest levels among youngsters for nine years.
Some 54.4 per cent of children and young people enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot, while 35.5 per cent only enjoy reading a bit. Just ten per cent do not enjoy reading at all.
In terms of daily reading, levels have continued to increase dramatically. There was a 28.6 per cent climb in the number of children and young people who read daily outside class between 2013 and 2014, rising from 32.2 per cent in 2013 to 41.1 per cent in 2014.
A number of major campaigns have been launched in recent years to encourage children to take up reading, including Bookstart, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Young Readers Programme and National Literacy Trust Hubs.
Reading outside class can have a significant impact on classroom attainment. Children who do so are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age compared with young people who never read outside class.
However, the research also revealed evidence of an ongoing reading gender gap, with almost half (46.5 per cent) of girls saying they read outside class on a daily basis compared with over a third of boys (35.8 per cent).
In addition, more girls (61.6 per cent) enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot compared with 47.2 per cent of boys.
There is also evidence of parental apathy regarding reading, with one child in four (24.3 per cent) surveyed agreeing with the statement "my parents don't care if I spend any time reading".
Nearly one third (31.5 per cent) of youngsters on free school meals agreed with the statement, compared to 23 per cent of pupils who do not receive FSM.
National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas said: "More must be done to help parents realise what a difference reading with their children from a young age can make to their future. Initiatives including Read On. Get On and our Words for Life campaign are raising awareness and helping parents understand their role in supporting their child’s literacy."
Posted by Charlotte Michaels